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Illuminati News: Secret Societies

 Illuminati  Comments Off on Illuminati News: Secret Societies
Oct 062015

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Donations [Make a donation and collect the BONUSES!] – I have noticed that I have had to neglect some things in life that are very important to me and others, while working hour after hour on my website. Therefore I ask you, kind visitor, for a donation, so I can spend the same amount of time, and more, on research, and less time trying to manage my finances. – – by Wes Penre, Jan 01, 2006 –

“All secret, oath bound, political parties are dangerous to any nation.” President Ulysses S. Grant

An Overall Briefing

Secret Societies And the New World Order – by William Cooper –

Overview of Secret Societies – Beneath the broad tides of human history there flow the stealthy undercurrents of the secret societies, which frequently determine in the depth the changes that take place upon the surface. — Author Arthur Edward Waite The Real History of the Rosicrucian Steiner Books, 1977[1] – – by Gianna DeVincent Hayes, Ph.D (Keeping America Free), Dec 28, 2005 – (Posted here: Dec 29, 2005)

Signs of a Secret Society – by Jon Rappoport, April 14, 2004 -When I wrote THE SECRET BEHIND SECRET SOCIETIES, I kept a list of some of the characteristics of any secret society, to use as a guideline … (Posted here: April 16, 2004)

Secret Societies – The pulsing, squeezing beat of the living organism called the Elitethose in influential positions who are making unwanted decisions for ushave succeeded in bringing forth a global government or New World Order (NWO). They pulled out their entire armory, and over dozens of years, generations of generations, they have pushed the NWO agenda down our throats, and weve meekly accepted it. – – American Chronicle, Feb 27, 2006 – (Posted here: March 01, 2006)

Brotherhoods [EXCELLENT] – Secret Societies and their rituals revealed! – – Brotherhoods and Secret Societies Website – (Posted here: August 22, 2006)

John F. Kennedy’s Warning About Secret Societies Taking Over the World [Audio] – Listen to this incredible audio recording of a speech made by JFK before the American Newspaper Publishers Association where he warns the press about the secret societies that are the real power in global affairs. – – – (Posted here: Thursday, July 06, 2006)

Secret Societies and Subversive Movements – “There is in Italy a power which we seldom mention in this House . . . I mean the secret societies. . . .” – – by Nesta Webster – (Posted here: June 8, 2004)

Blue Blood – New Great Website on the Elite and Their Genealogy! – – – (Posted here: July 23, 2004)

Freemasonry, P2, Nazi Occult, Gladio, Thule, Fascism, CIA, Luciferianism, and Far Right Reactionary Politics – One of the more twisted myths being propagated by ‘Regular’ Anglo-American Freemasonry of late is that the Nazi’s persecuted ‘regular’ Freemasonry in Germany during it’s reign – – Freemasonry Watch – (Posted here: November 1, 2004)

Project for Exposure of Hidden Institutions – The purpose of the Project for the Exposure of Hidden Institutions (PEHI) is to put together the entire spectrum of hidden organizations and secret societies. Most of you who visit this site have probably heard of the more well-known ‘secret societies’ like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bohemian Grove, and the Skull & Bones student society. – – Project for the Exposure of Hidden Institutions – (Posted here: Aug 8, 2005)

Your Eyes Wide Shut – Graphic Website on Freemasonry and the Illuminati, inspired by the movie “Eyes Wide Shut” with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman – – – (Posted here: Nov 05, 2005)

Secret Societies: They Are Not Just at Yale – They Are Running a University Near You – The world over has heard of Skull and Bones of Yale University. This elite secret society holds within its membership at least four U.S. Presidents. George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry are both members of Skull and Bones. This made the 2004 presidential election the first known election where two secret society members ran against each other. However, names like the Order of the Bull’s Blood, Mystical Seven Society, The Order of Gimghoul , Burning Spear, and Machine are less familiar. Make no mistake these too are powerful societies. – – by Altevia Wilborn – (Posted here: Friday, December 22, 2006)

Freemasonry: Free-Masons Create Un-Free People

“You must conceal all the crimes of your brother Masons… and should you be summoned as a witness against a brother Mason be always sure to shield him.. It may be perjury to do this, it is true, but your keeping your obligations.” [ Ronayne, “Handbook of Masonry” p. 183 ]

This means, for example, that if a criminal, who happens to be a Freemason, goes to court, and the judge is a Freemason as well, the judge’s duty is to protect the criminal instead of obeying the law. Now, expand on this even further and you will draw a pretty horrifying picture. Wes Penre

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An Overview of the Ancient Egyptian Cult – In order to conduct the cult of the gods, the Egyptians constructed religious facilities that remain some of the most elaborate structures ever built. These temples were called by the ancient Egyptians, hwt-ntr, meaning “the house of the god”. These temples actually usually served several gods, and in order to sustain these cult activities, considerable resources, such as extensive networks of land, livestock and personnel were required. These necessary resources that were required to support the activities of a temple were referred to as r-pr, meaning “temple estate”. – – by Jefferson Monet – (Posted here: Saturday, Jan 19, 2008)

Lucifer – Albert Pike – Eliphas Levi and the Masonic Lodge – This study begins with a bold statement: The God of the Masonic Lodge is Lucifer! This is not a conclusion reached overnight, but one which was drawn from many hours of long study and a thorough examination of the facts. This statement has been made with no qualms or hesitation because the facts will convince one to make such a statement. There have been others that have made this declaration. – – (Posted here: Tuesday, May 13, 2008)

Albert Pike on Masonry: The True Nature of the Society – Many masonic apologists at various websites have offered “defenses” in response to anti-masons, attempting to dismiss the popular quotations drawn from Masonic master-philosopher Albert Pike, which show freemasonry to be syncretistic and anti-Christian. So here are the actual quotes from Pike’s “Morals and Dogma.”- – NICENE TRUTH – (Posted here: Thursday, October 09, 2008)

SECOND FAMILY UK – Survivors of Freemasonry Speak Out! – “We are all victims of Freemasonry” SF (UK) are a not just a support group for victims of the criminal organization that calls itself “Freemasonry”, we also campaign for fairer and democratic society. SF are not a hate or revenge group, just to peacefully campaign for change and make the world a better place. We have contacted UGLE (United Grand Lodge of England), GLOS (Grand Lodge of Scotland), the top Masons at Rosslyn Chapel and their other spokesman? at the Masonicinfo (Masonic-misinformation) website. – – – (Posted here: Saturday, Jan 19, 2008) The Origin of Freemasonry: The Crusaders & Templars – The common perception of the majority of historians of Freemasonry is that the origin of the organization goes back to the Crusades. In fact, though Masonry was only officially established and recognized in England in the early eighteenth century, the roots of the organization do reach back to the Crusades in the twelfth century. At the center of this familiar tale is an order of crusaders called the Knights Templar or the Templars. – – by Harun Yahya – (Posted here: April 20, 2005)

Tom Paine on Freemasonry [Part I | Part II ] – The Entered Apprentice knows but little more of Masonry than the use of signs and tokens, and certain steps and words by which Masons can recognize each other without being discovered by a person who is not a Mason. The Fellow Craft is not much better instructed in Masonry, than the Entered Apprentice. It is only in the Master Mason’s Lodge, that whatever knowledge remains of the origin of Masonry is preserved and concealed. – – by Thomas Paine – (Posted here: Sunday, Sep 03, 2006)

Masons and Mystery at the 33rd Parallel – American Freemasonry and related power elites are responsible for a number of murders and provocations to war which happened along or close to the northern 33rd degree of latitude, also known as the33rd Parallel. Most of the world’s wealth is stored north of the north 33rd Parallel. Major financial centers north of the 33rd Parallel include London, New York, Chicago, and Switzerland. Most of this planet’s six billion people live south of the 33rd Parallel.- – by Day Williams – (Posted here: Monday, October 08, 2007)

Freemasonry – by Terry Melanson –

Albert Pike and Three World Wars – Very few outsiders know about the intimate plans of Albert Pike and the architects of the New World Order. In the 19th Century Albert Pike established a framework for bringing about the One World Order. Based on a vision revealed to him, Albert Pike wrote a blueprint of events that would play themselves out in the 20th century, with even more of these events yet to come. It is this blueprint which we believe unseen leaders are following today, knowingly or not, to engineer the planned Third and Final World War. – – – (Posted here: Saturday, Jan 19, 2008)

The Jesuit, Illuminati, Knights of Columbus and Masonic Oaths -hen a Jesuit of the minor rank is to be elevated to command, he is conducted into the Chapel of the Convent of the Order, where there are only three others present, the principal or Superior standing in front of the altar. On either side stands a monk, one of whom holds a banner of yellow and white, which are the Papal colors, and the other a black banner with a dagger and red cross above a skull and crossbones, with the word INRI, and below them the words IUSTUM, NECAR, REGES, IMPIOUS… – – – (Posted here: Saturday, August 18, 2007)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 1) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 2) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 3) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 4) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 5) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 6) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

Files About Freemasonry – The Structure of Freemasonry – American Freemasonry remembles two sets of stairs that begin and end together, as this chart of Masonic structure shows. A Mason’s first step is to become an Entered Apprentice. He climbs to the third step where most Masons stay. – – – (Posted here: December 12, 2004)

Ritual for the 32 of Freemasonry, Scottish Rite – Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret – Commander-in-Chief, knocks once: If there be any present, with the exception of candidates, who are not Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, let them depart in peace, that our Consistory may be secure. – – presented by Leo Zagami, Jan 20, 2007 – (Posted here: Saturday, January 20, 2007)

Ritual for the 33 of Freemasonry, Scottish Rite – Sovereign Grand Inspector General – The lodge is hung with purple curtains, on which are painted skeletons, death heads, cross, bones etc. There are nine officers in this degree. The Master of the lodge is called the “Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander.” – – presented by Leo Zagami, Jan 20, 2007 – (Posted here: Saturday, January 20, 2007)

Freemasonry, Jesus, and Constantine the Pagan Worshipper – Many of the Christian preachers and leaders of today have been initiated into the so called secrets of Freemasonry. And they know that the story of Jesus Christ, as it is understood by the masses of the people, has it’s origin in mythology and paganism; yet they will not educate their following to this truth. – -by Leo Zagami, Jan 10, 2007 – (Posted here: Thursday, January 11, 2007)

The First Degree of Freemasonry – Only 5% of 32nd and higher degree freemasons are invited into the Illuminati. Many “Christians freemasons” would contend that freemasonry is not a religion. The plan of freemasonry is that the majority of freemasons do not even know it is a religion. The plan of freemasonry is to deceive the majority of freemasons from the truth that Lucifer, or Satan, is the god of freemasonry. – – The Federal Observer – (Posted here: Sep 12, 2005)

The Freemason’s 33 Initiation – Easter was approaching and one quiet morning I was at home recuperating from the second operation when the doorbell rang. It was a special delivery letter from the Supreme Council in Washington, notifying me that I had been selected for the 33rd Degree. I could hardly believe it was true! – – by Jim Shaw – (Posted here: Saturday, May 13, 2006)

The Masonic Seal of America – This is the Great Seal of the United States of America. It was designed by the Freemasons and contains a mass of symbolism that the profane (non masons) are not to understand. This article will once and for all prove that the Seal is a Masonic design. Have you ever asked the question ‘Why is there a Pyramid on our $1 note”? The religion of Freemasonry and some of it’s mysteries have descended from ancient Egypt whose mysteries descended from ancient Babylon. The Pyramid has of old been a fascination of Freemasons. It is a pagan temple of Satan worship. – – Endtimedeception – (Posted here: July 17, 2005)

Freemasons – Its Roots & Links to the Occult – The Royal Arch Degree shows that Masons are really Baal worshipers. Most Masons do it without realizing it by participating in rituals that they really don’t understand. However, a few top-level Masons (those in highest authority) know exactly what they are doing. – – – (Posted here: March 28, 2006)

P2 – Formed in the 19th century by the Grande Orient of Italy for the elites, the organization evolved out of the violent organization known as the Carbonari. Pagan elements suffused the rituals of the organization to which all Grand Masters of Regular Italian Freemasonry belonged. The head was known as Naj Hannah (King Cobra). – – by Leo Zagami, June 27 2007 – (Posted here: Sunday, July 01, 2007)

The Real Secret Word of the Freemasons – The Freemasons have often been called satanic, which is something that they are very capable of fending off. While its rank and file members are ignorant of the purpose of the organization, some know. Freemasons deflect accusations of being a satanic society largely by employing the cover of being a philanthropic organization. But what is at the core of the Freemasons beliefs? – – by D.M., May 1, 2004 – (Posted here: January 6, 2005)

33 Degrees – Number of the Master – Why is 33 degrees associated with Mastery? This was the question I asked myself when I delved into Masonic symbolism while researching my novel Eclipse of the Soul. Being an astrologer, I was convinced it was a celestial reference, for we measure positions of the planets and stars in degrees, minutes and seconds. – – by Olga Morales (Astrologer) – (Posted here: January 10, 2005)

33rd Parallel Masonic Line of Death Row Human Sacrifice Ritual – THE 33RD PARALLEL: MASONIC LINE OF DEATH FOR PSYCHIC ENERGY – GEO-SPATIAL ALIGNMENT OF SOUTHERN DEATH ROWS & ABU GHRAIB AS EVIDENCE OF HUMAN SACRIFICE. RITUAL TO SUPERHUMAN ENTITIES FOR TEMPORAL POWER. The 33rd degree has long been associated with Freemasonry. – –, Dec 28, 2005 – (Posted here: Jan 01, 2006)

Freemasons: The Silent Destroyers? – from (December 23, 2003)

Lucifer/Satan is the God of Freemasonry – from Freemasonic Teachings (December 23, 2003)

Click on Baphomet for enlargement and further explanation

The Bavarian Illuminati Today (Their Own Website) [Still alive and well. From Their Website (Liber Zion, Third Part): “22. Forever, I, Baphomet, will be your unique God, the only and legitimate God”. Wes Penre] – Gabriel Lpez de Rojas was born in Barcelona (Spain), in 1966, June 10th . When he was young, he stood out as an athlete and musician. In 1992, he was initiated in Freemasonry. And, in 1995, he founded Illuminati Order in Barcelona (Spain). [So Freemasonry is a Christian Religion, right??? Wes Penre] – The Illuminati Order – (August 8, 2004)

[And here is the obvious lie coming from the Freemasons themselves] The Infamous Baphomet – But how would such a respected religious order come to worship a head idol or engage in such evil? Likely, they didn’t! – – (Posted here: Oct 4, 2005)

Baphomet – Baphomet and the Worship of him in a Masonic Temple during the George Washington Era (Washington was himself a Freemason). Note the Knights Templar cross on the robes and what appears to be the Rosicrucian cross on Baphomet himself. And on their own website, in an attempt to defend themselves, the Freemasons bluntly lie and claim the Templars never worshipped Baphomet. As a fact, Freemasonry still does and so does the Illuminati. – – by Wes Penre, Illuminati News, Oct 4, 2005 – (Posted here: Oct 4, 2005)

Treasonous Masonic Corruption & Constitutional Resistance – La Cosa Nostra mafia was founded by freemason Mazzini, & IS masonic. Freemasons vow to protect each other. NSA coverups via unelected PD chiefs supplied by NSA list is how it works, (& special agents). – – by James Diebeck – (Posted here: Saturday, July 01, 2006)

The Billy Graham Deception – B’nai B’rith is an anti-christian jewish masonic lodge. They have a high rank in the Illuminati structure and they operate under several fronts. Not all the work they do is bad. They hunt nazis and usually fight again racism but being a form of Freemasonry, it operates as a secret society within a secret society, a circle within a circle etc, so that only the elite of this organization knows the real agenda and the normal jewish person working for them is doing the best they can. I will present as much documentation later on in this article to show the Masonic structure within this group, but first I will mention their link to Billy Graham. – – – (Posted here: Tuesday, June 26, 2007)

Freemasonry Watch

Grand Lodge Seals – The Freemasonic flags & Seals of each State in America – – – (Posted here: Nov 12, 2005)

The Story of Hiram Abiff – THE outstanding figure in modern Freemasonry is undoubtedly the widow’s son who is known to members of the Fraternity under the somewhat obscure name of Hiram Abiff. He dominates Craft Masonry… – – – (Posted here: June 28, 2004)

Who Was Albert Pike? – Very few outsiders know about the intimate plans of Albert Pike and the architects of the New World Order. In the 19th Century Albert Pike established a framework for bringing about the One World Order. Based on a vision revealed to him, Albert Pike wrote a blueprint of events that would play themselves out in the 20th century, with even more of these events yet to come. – – – (Posted here: Aug 30, 2005)

Albert Pike and Three World Wars – Albert Pike received a vision, which he described in a letter that he wrote to Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871. This letter graphically outlined plans for three world wars that were seen as necessary to bring about the One World Order, and we can marvel at how accurately it has predicted events that have already taken place. – – – (Posted here: Aug 30, 2005)

Freemasonry, Albert Pike, and the Ku Klux Klan – from (January 23, 2004)

Jim Shaw – 33 Freemason – Speaks Out About the Deception of Freemasonry In His Book: “The Deadly Deception” – from Illuminati Conspiracy Website – (February 21, 2004)

List of Famous Freemasons – by Wes Penre – (January 3, 2004)

Famous Masons – Long list of famous Freemasons – – – (Posted here: July 11, 2004)

Famous Masons Around the World – Space History that few people know: Buzz Aldrin unofficially established the Masonic Tranquility Lodge on the Moon. Aldrin is one of the few to attain the level of a 33rd Degree Mason. He shares this honor with President George Washington and many other U.S. Presidents (see list at bottom of page) and other famous Masons listed on this page. – – Masons in Space – (Posted here: May 6, 2005)

Famous and Infamous Demolays [Freemasons] – You will now see the power Freemasonry holds over much of America. Do not think that these men are not committed to Freemasonry because they were Demolays. Indeed, they are 100% committed to the phallic cult of the Lodge. – – – (Posted here: August 25, 2004)

Founding Father’s Footsteps Followed – The exhibit explores Washington’s involvement in Freemasonry. It includes artifacts and documents that reveal Washington’s commitment to the fraternity and its principles and values [my emphasis]. Held by Masonic Lodges and Grand Lodges around the country, many of the objects, letters and minute books have rarely been available for public showing. – – MetroWest Daily News, March 20, 2005 – (Posted here: March 21, 2005)

Masonic Symbolism – Masonry is, according to its own philosophers, a system of pure religion expressed in symbols, one which cannot be understood without a knowledge of the true meaning of them. – – – (Posted here: July 11, 2004)

Secret Masonic Handshakes, Passwords,Grips And Signs Of Blue Lodge Masonry – from Ephesians 5:11 Website – (Posted here: March 17, 2004)

An Example of How The Freemasons Control the Court (And Thus the Legal System) – by Wes Penre for Illuminati News, March 30, 2004 – (Posted here: March 30, 2004)

Psychopaths, Secret Societies And the New World Order – by Jerry Russell and Richard Stanley – (Posted here: April 19, 2004)

US Presidents and Freemasonry – …the Illuminati would gradually position members into key power positions over time and ultimately attempt to dominate every industry including the banking industry and finally the world. To set the record straight, here are some very important facts which need to be known: – – David Icke’s “Research Material” – (Posted here: October 9, 2004)

United States Presidents and The Masonic Power Structure – This article is not intended to defame this country’s forefathers. See Secret Societies All I am doing here is listing the facts. I will list other authors articles for you to refer to as corroboration. These names were compiled from the Masons own list of famous names posted on there websites. (See Links Below) The names used in this document have been used from that list along with a brief summary of who they were,(*Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition.) and the role they played in our history. Keep in mind, you can not be a Christian and a practicing Mason, its an oxymoron. – – by Robert Howard – (Posted here: December 10, 2004)

Movie Puts Spotlight on Freemasons [How Hollywood, in “National Treasure”, promotes Freemasonry and makes people interested in joining. The Masons are currently running a campaign to recruit new members, Wes Penre] – “There’s just tremendous symbolism in that movie,” said Roush, Marion, who has been a Freemason for almost 40 years. I know a lot of it is legend, but it’s just fascinating.” – – – (Posted here: December 13, 2004)

The Turkish Experiment with Westernization – “What is more troubling with modern Turkey (since 1909) is that its secularist fundamentalist leadership has had been directly linked with Freemasonry. The leaders of the Turkish Masonic lodges are subordinate to those of Tel Aviv and France and Italy, taking directive from them. There lies the explanation for Turkeys roles vis–vis the Palestine-Israel conflict and the Arab/Muslim world.” – – Media Monitors Network – (Posted here: January 8, 2005)

Benjamin Franklin, the Occult and The Elite – In 1998, workmen restoring Franklin’s London home dug up the remains of six children and four adults hidden below the home. The London Times reported on February 11, 1998: – – – (Posted here: January 12, 2005)

Mankind’s Death Wish – Architects of Deception, a 600-page history of Freemasonry by Estonian writer Juri Lina offers profound insight into the true character of modern history. – – by Henry Makow, Ph.D., Jan 15, 2005 – (Posted here: January 15, 2005)

‘Are You Masons?’ Challenge to Judges – Three judges yesterday refused to reveal whether they were Freemasons after being challenged by a veteran human rights campaigner. – – News.Telegraph, Febr 19, 2003 – (Posted here: February 2, 2005)

Lifting Lid on Judges’ Secret Society – An unprecedented legal hearing into a secret society which boasts some of Scotland’s top judges among its members opened in Edinburgh yesterday amid claims the judges’ membership breaches human rights law. – Guardian Limited, Feb 19, 2003 – (Posted here: February 2, 2005)

Exhibit Reveals Masons’ Influence – WASHINGTON — Some of the most famous buildings in Washington, including the White House, are deeply marked by Freemasonry, the brotherhood that goes back to the cathedral builders of the Middle Ages, says a new exhibit. The show is called “The Initiated Eye: Secrets, Symbols, Freemasonry and the Architecture of Washington, D.C.” It opened to the public Wednesday. – – Associated Press, May 22, 2005 – (Posted here: May 26, 2005)

Henry Kissinger

Excerpt from:
Illuminati News: Secret Societies

The Coming Defeat of NATO – Washington Free Beacon

 NATO  Comments Off on The Coming Defeat of NATO – Washington Free Beacon
Oct 032015

Screenshot from YouTube

BY: Matthew Continetti October 2, 2015 5:00 am

The North AtlanticTreaty Organization, established in 1949, has 28 members devoted to the idea of collective security. Prediction: By the time President Obama leaves office in 2017, the NATO pledge of mutual defense in response to aggression will have been exposed as worthless. Objectively the alliance will have ceased to exist. The culprits? Vladimir Putinand Barack Obama.

Right now the world is focused on the Middle East: Russian jets and bombers, operating from an expanding air base in Syria, strike opponents of dictator and war criminal Bashar al-Assad. The Russians say they are going after Islamic Statebut theres no evidence they are doing so. Nor do they have reason to, considering the aimof Putins war is to preserve Assads rule and to expand, for the first time in decades, Russias sphere of influence into the Middle East.

Key to Putins strategy, write analysts Frederick W. Kagan and Kimberly Kagan, is the doctrine of reflexive control: establishing facts on the ground in such a way that the enemy chooses Russias preferred course of action voluntarily, because it is easiest and all the others appear much more difficult and risky, if not impossible.

Doesnt have to be this way. Moscows propaganda notwithstanding, Russia is a weak state with a deteriorating military capability, whose claim to great power status is based on its nuclear arsenal. But, by acting decisively and provocatively, Putin has found the means by which to reassert Russian sovereignty and preeminence and ward off challenges to his authoritarian regime.

Revisit Putins 2007 speech to the Munich security conference, where he said the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in todays world. The expansion of NATO, he went on, represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. Then came the threat: Russia is a country with a history that spans more than 1,000 years and has practically always used the privilege to carry out an independent foreign policy. We are not going to change this tradition today.

The next year the governments of GermanyandFrance, frightened by Putins rhetoric and reliant on Russian energy and arms deals, scuttledthe U.S. attemptto offer NATO membership to the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine. Deprived of NATOs security guarantee, both of these small and poor and new democracies became open prey. Putin invaded Georgia in 2008. Hecontinues to exert influence there.

The techniques of reflexive control found their ultimate patsy in Barack Obama. When it became clear in 2013 that the president had no interest in enforcing his red line against chemical weapons use in Syria, Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov pounced. Lavrov suggested in public that Russia would assist the United States in destroying Assads WMD stockpile. Obama, whose greatest fear is a major deployment of U.S. ground forces in the Middle East, couldnt help sayingyes. Suddenly Americawas partnering with the governments of Russia and Syria (and by extension Iran) to inspect and remove the munitions. This decision not only averted U.S. interventionand gauranteedAssads survival. ItallowedAssad to gas his population in the future.

In 2014, when protests forced Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych to flee to his backers in Moscow, Putin saw an opportunity to reclaim Ukraine from the West. His military buildup on Ukraines eastern border deterred NATO from harsh reprisals when the Russian parliament annexed Crimea. The techniques of maskirovkadisinformation and deceitprovided cover for Russias arming and training and staffing of anti-Kiev rebels in the east.

Sanctions and nasty words have not exacted enough of a cost to stop Putin from instigating and perpetuating a civil war whosedeath toll is in the thousands. President Obama has overruled his advisers and refuses to provide lethal defensive arms for pro-Western Ukrainians, believing, amazingly, that helping Kiev defend itself would escalate the situation.The Ukraine conflict is now frozenPutin can switch it on and off at will. Hisgoals remain: to efface Western pretentions to ideological and military supremacy, and to replace President Petro Poroshenko with a Kremlin stooge.

Two weeks ago, in a phone call with itsprime minister, Vice President Biden signaledAmerica will support Montenegros application for NATO membership. Good for him. But we should recognize nonetheless that this move is a fig-leaf. Itobscures the fact that Obama would otherwise be the first president in a generation not to preside over an expansion of NATO. So the White House supports a strategically insignificant nation surrounded by member states. Woo-wee. Its a metaphor for this administrations lackadaisical commitment to the allianceand for Europes.

The Kremlin has noticed this ambivalence. Russian intervention in Syria is about more than propping up Assad. Russian leadership of a pro-Assad coalition that includes Iran and Iraq effectively displaces America as the most influentialexternal power in the region. Russian provocations have forced Washington to plead for de-confliction, handing Moscow freedom of action over Syrian, and possibly Iraqi, airspace. And the location of the Russian base opens an additional front in Putins war against NATO.

Less than 50 miles from the border of Turkeya NATO memberthe Bassel al-Assad airbase gives Putins air force the ability to buzz and overfly not only Turkey but also U.S. allies Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. It also would allow, write the Kagans, his aircraft to shadow the U.S. Sixth Fleet around the Eastern Mediterranean. He could force Turkey and its NATO allies to establish standing combat air patrols along the southern Turkish border. The chances of a deadly incident increase every day.

Putin is boxing in NATO. His next target is the Baltic States. Last Sunday on 60 Minutes, he explained that the reason he has called the collapse of the Soviet Union the worst thing to happen in the last century isthat, in an instant, 25 million people found themselves beyond the borders of the Russian state. His goal is to reclaim themto unify Russians living abroad in the Baltics, in Ukraine, and beyond.

Raimonds Vejonis, president of Latvia, tells the Wall Street Journal that Russian sorties over the Baltics nations are on the rise. In his full interview with Charlie Rose, Putin singled out Lithuania: More than half of the citizens have left the country, he lied. Can you imagine a situation where more than half of the Americans left the territory of the United States? It would be a catastrophe!

Try this scenario: Sometime in the next 16 months, civil unrest breaks out in one or more of the Baltic States. Its the Russian population, calling for independence from the central government and closer ties to Moscow. Fighting erupts as Russian tanks mass along the border and jets fly over Riga or Vilnius or Tallinn. They are all targets. Take Vilnius: While there are few ethnic Russians in Lithuania, it is the land bridge between Mother Russia and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Supplying Kaliningrad wouldbe Putins casus belli.

The Baltic authorities call on NATO to respondinvoking Article Four of the charter, which requires consultations, and possibly Article Five, requiring force.But the West is distracted. Europe is overwhelmed by crises in Greece and Ukraine, by the U.K. referendum to leave the E.U., by ongoing Muslim migration to the north. The United States is occupied by its presidential election, by Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan, by economic shocks.

The cries for assistance go unheard. The Obama administration has refused even to try to secure permanent forward bases in the Balticswhich wouldprovide a credible deterrentapparently due to the belief that providing for a real defense is provocative. We are too busy, too self-absorbed, too confused to worry about promises made years ago. Obama wont arm the Ukrainians. What makes us think hed defendthe Lithuanians or Latvians or Estonians?

Before the White House recovers from its surprise at events in the Baltics, Putin will have achieved his strategic goals and established reflexive control over the situation. PresidentObama and Chancellor Merkel and Secretary of State Kerry are sure to proclaim that the arc of history will defeat Russia, even as they accommodate themselves to Putins reality. NATO will be exposed as a covenant without the sword. And millions of East Europeans will come under Vladimir Putins thumb. Victims of the Kremlins avarice. Victims of Obamas weakness.

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The Coming Defeat of NATO – Washington Free Beacon

Offshore Tax Havens – Caribbean Tax Havens

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Sep 282015

Home / Caribbean Tax Havens

Caribbean tax havens are amongst the worlds most popular and well respected tax havens. The Caribbean region has been known to produce outstanding tax havens which are also offshore jurisdictions. Tax havens in the Caribbean are known for the benefits they provide for a large client base: some of the benefits of Caribbean tax havens include, reducing tax liability and providing privacy. Some of the more respected tax havens in the Caribbean are Dominica, St Kitts, Nevis, Barbados, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Belize and the Bahamas among others.

Tax havens are best described as countries which provide shelter from taxation. Taxes imposed in a tax haven can be very low or nonexistent. A tax haven which imposes no taxes is usually referred to as a pure tax haven and the Caribbean has many of these. Most countries in the Caribbean resorted to becoming tax havens as a means of maintaining their local economies and removing the dependency on more developed nations, a trend once very prevalent in the region.

As offshore tax havens countries in the Caribbean region offer professional offshore services which include the incorporation of offshore companies or international business companies, offshore banking, the formation of offshore (exempt ) trusts, the formation of limited liability companies (LLCs), exempt insurance and reinsurance, the registration of vessels and ships and the formation of foundations among other services. These offshore services are all backed by modern and progressive legislation each possessing distinct characteristics based on the country of origin.

The offshore havens of the Caribbean are well known to provide clients with legal means to reduce international taxes. All the offshore tax havens mentioned above are pure tax havens with the exception of Barbados which taxes offshore business companies a small percentage of its overall annual profits. Barbados imposes taxes on its offshore business companies at the low rate of between 1 and 2.5% and the amount of taxes paid are calculated based on the profits of the offshore corporation. The other Caribbean tax havens charge offshore business companies zero taxes on profits gained from outside of the jurisdiction. Offshore jurisdictions such as Dominica guarantees an offshore business company a 20 year period of tax exemptions as stipulated by the offshore legislation. Caribbean offshore jurisdictions also exempt offshore business companies, trusts and foundations from Stamp Duty on transactions made on behalf of these entities.

Tax havens in the Caribbean all provide privacy for the beneficial owners of offshore business companies and bank account holders. In most offshore jurisdictions in the Caribbean, legislation has been passed prohibiting the disclosure of information regarding beneficial owners of offshore companies, foundations, trusts and bank accounts. In the offshore jurisdiction of Nevis for example, privacy is protected by the Confidentiality Relationship Act. In the Commonwealth of Dominica divulging information regarding offshore business companies results in a monetary fine and a possible prison sentence.

Most of the major tax havens in the Caribbean have not signed double tax treaties with other countries in the world, making tax information of clients safe from the tax authorities in the respective resident countries. Caribbean tax havens further provide privacy for offshore clients by enabling them to incorporate offshore business companies with the use of nominee shareholders and directors. This practice is allowed in Nevis, Dominica, Anguilla among others.

The tax havens of the Caribbean have been around for over one decade and have great experience in providing asset protection for clients and, Caribbean tax havens are good at providing secrecy for clients.

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Offshore Tax Havens – Caribbean Tax Havens

Indiana Eugenics: History and Legacy

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Sep 242015

In 1907, a new law passed by the state legislature and signed by the Governor of Indiana provided for the involuntary sterilization of “confirmed criminals, idiots, imbeciles and rapists.” Although it was eventually found to be unconstitutional, this law is widely regarded as the first eugenics sterilization legislation passed in the world. In 1927, a revised law was implemented and before it was repealed in 1974, over 2,300 of the States most vulnerable citizens were involuntarily sterilized. In addition, Indiana established a state-funded Committee on Mental Defectives that carried out eugenic family studies in over twenty counties and was home to an active “better babies” movement that encouraged scientific motherhood and infant hygiene as routes to human improvement.

News Release

American Medical Association News Article

The centenary of the 1907 legislation provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the far-reaching significance of this event by exploring the largely untold history of eugenics in Indiana, and the relevance of this history to contemporary issues in human genomics, public health genetics, and reproductive health in other parts of the country. An expert project team has been assembled of historians, bioethicists, lawyers, and art/design faculty to undertake a series of scholarly and public projects to mark the 100th anniversary of the Indiana eugenics legislation. These included:

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Indiana Eugenics: History and Legacy

Liberty Township NJ Real Estate & Homes for Sale in …

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Sep 222015

11 Birch Dr

Liberty Township, NJ

Liberty Township, NJ

Courtesy of Weichert Realtors – Phillipsburg

Liberty Township, NJ

Liberty Township, NJ

Courtesy of Weichert Realtors – Randolph

Liberty is a township in Warren County, in the Allentown-Bethlehem metro area. It is part of the eastern region of the Lehigh Valley. The rural community of Liberty is ideal for those who prefer open space, rolling hills, rich woodlands, and a country lifestyle. Scattered retail shops provide daily conveniences, with larger malls nearby. In addition to picturesque farms and attractive residential development, this area features the nearby Panther Valley Country Club, breathtaking Saxton Falls, a portion of beautiful Jenny Jump Forest, and Allamuchy Mountain State Park. Interstate 80 combines with bus service to New York and Pennsylvania for convenient transportation links. Playgrounds, parks, athletic fields, tennis courts, sports leagues, supervised programs, 4-H Club, and community programs provide quality options for leisure hours.

28 listings in Liberty Township, NJ with an estimated median home price of $237,500

(Data as of 9/20/2015)


Each WEICHERT franchised office is independently owned and operated. 2015 Weichert, Realtors. All rights reserved.

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Liberty Township NJ Real Estate & Homes for Sale in …

NSA warrantless surveillance (200107) – Wikipedia, the …

 NSA  Comments Off on NSA warrantless surveillance (200107) – Wikipedia, the …
Sep 192015

The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy (“warrantless wiretapping”) concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of allegedly foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as part of the touted war on terror. Under this program, referred to by the Bush administration as the terrorist surveillance program,[1] part of the broader President’s Surveillance Program, the NSA was authorized by executive order to monitor, without search warrants, the phone calls, Internet activity (Web, e-mail, etc.), text messaging, and other communication involving any party believed by the NSA to be outside the U.S., even if the other end of the communication lies within the U.S. However, it has been discovered that all U.S. communications have been digitally cloned by government agencies, in apparent violation of unreasonable search and seizure. The excuse given to avoid litigation[citation needed] was that no data hoarded would be reviewed until searching it would be legal. But no excuse has been offered the initial seizure of the data which is also illegal,[citation needed] according to the U.S. Constitution.[citation needed]

Critics, however, claimed that the program was in an effort to attempt to silence critics of the Bush Administration and its handling of several controversial issues during its tenure. Under public pressure, the Bush administration allegedly ceased the warrantless wiretapping program in January 2007 and returned review of surveillance to the FISA court.[2] Subsequently, in 2008 Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which relaxed some of the original FISA court requirements.

During the Obama Administration, the NSA has allegedly continued operating under the new FISA guidelines despite campaign promises to end warrantless wiretapping.[3] However, in April 2009 officials at the United States Department of Justice acknowledged that the NSA had engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications in excess of the FISA court’s authority, but claimed that the acts were unintentional and had since been rectified.[4]

All wiretapping of American citizens by the National Security Agency requires a warrant from a three-judge court set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. After the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which granted the President broad powers to fight a war against terrorism. The George W. Bush administration used these powers to bypass the FISA court and directed the NSA to spy directly on al-Qaeda in a new NSA electronic surveillance program. Reports at the time indicate that an “apparently accidental” “glitch” resulted in the interception of communications that were purely domestic in nature.[5] This action was challenged by a number of groups, including Congress, as unconstitutional.

The exact scope of the program remains secret, but the NSA was provided total, unsupervised access to all fiber-optic communications going between some of the nation’s largest telecommunication companies’ major interconnected locations, including phone conversations, email, web browsing, and corporate private network traffic.[6] Critics said that such “domestic” intercepts required FISC authorization under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.[7] The Bush administration maintained that the authorized intercepts were not domestic but rather foreign intelligence integral to the conduct of war and that the warrant requirements of FISA were implicitly superseded by the subsequent passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF).[8] FISA makes it illegal to intentionally engage in electronic surveillance under appearance of an official act or to disclose or use information obtained by electronic surveillance under appearance of an official act knowing that it was not authorized by statute; this is punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 or up to five years in prison, or both.[9] In addition, the Wiretap Act prohibits any person from illegally intercepting, disclosing, using or divulging phone calls or electronic communications; this is punishable with a fine or up to five years in prison, or both.[10]

After an article about the program, (which had been code-named Stellar Wind), was published in The New York Times on December 16, 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales confirmed its existence.[11][12][13]The Times had posted the exclusive story on their website the night before, after learning that the Bush administration was considering seeking a Pentagon-Papers-style court injunction to block its publication.[14]Bill Keller, the newspaper’s former executive editor, had withheld the story from publication since before the 2004 Presidential Election, and the story that was ultimately published was essentially the same as reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau had submitted in 2004. The delay drew criticism from some in the press, arguing that an earlier publication could have changed the election’s outcome.[15] In a December 2008 interview with Newsweek, former Justice Department employee Thomas Tamm revealed himself to be the initial whistle-blower to The Times.[16] The FBI began investigating leaks about the program in 2005, with 25 agents and 5 prosecutors on the case.[17]

Gonzales said the program authorized warrantless intercepts where the government had “a reasonable basis to conclude that one party to the communication is a member of al Qaeda, affiliated with al Qaeda, or a member of an organization affiliated with al Qaeda, or working in support of al Qaeda” and that one party to the conversation was “outside of the United States.”[18] The revelation raised immediate concern among elected officials, civil right activists, legal scholars and the public at large about the legality and constitutionality of the program and the potential for abuse. Since then, the controversy has expanded to include the press’ role in exposing a classified program, the role and responsibility of the US Congress in its executive oversight function and the scope and extent of presidential powers under Article II of the Constitution.[19]

In mid-August 2007, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments in two lawsuits challenging the surveillance program. The appeals were the first to reach the court after dozens of civil suits against the government and telecommunications companies over NSA surveillance were consolidated last year before the chief judge of the Northern District of California, Vaughn R. Walker. One of the cases is a class-action lawsuit against AT&T, focusing on allegations that the company provided the NSA with its customers’ phone and Internet communications for a vast data-mining operation. Plaintiffs in the second case are the al-Haramain Foundation Islamic charity and two of its lawyers.[20][21]

On November 16, 2007, the three judgesM. Margaret McKeown, Michael Daly Hawkins, and Harry Pregersonissued a 27-page ruling that the charity, the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, could not introduce a key piece of evidence in its case because it fell under the government’s claim of state secrets, although the judges said that “In light of extensive government disclosures, the government is hard-pressed to sustain its claim that the very subject matter of the litigation is a state secret.”[22][23]

In an August 14, 2007, question-and-answer session with the El Paso Times which was published on August 22, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell confirmed for the first time that the private sector helped the warrantless surveillance program. McConnell argued that the companies deserved immunity for their help: “Now if you play out the suits at the value they’re claimed, it would bankrupt these companies”.[24] Plaintiffs in the AT&T suit subsequently filed a motion with the court to have McConnell’s acknowledgement admitted as evidence in their case.[25]

The program may face an additional legal challenge in the appeal of two Albany, New York, men convicted of criminal charges in an FBI anti-terror sting operation. Their lawyers say they have evidence the men were the subjects of NSA electronic surveillance, which was used to obtain their convictions but not made public at trial or made available in response to discovery requests by defense counsel at that time.[26]

In an unusual related legal development, on October 13, 2007, The Washington Post reported that Joseph P. Nacchio, the former CEO of Qwest Communications, is appealing an April 2007 conviction on 19 counts of insider trading by alleging that the government withdrew opportunities for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused to participate in an unidentified National Security Agency program that the company thought might be illegal. According to court documents unsealed in Denver in early October as part of Nacchio’s appeal, the NSA approached Qwest about participating in a warrantless surveillance program more than six months before the Sep 11, 2001, attacks which have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its efforts. Nacchio is using the allegation to try to show why his stock sale should not have been considered improper.[27] According to a lawsuit filed against other telecommunications companies for violating customer privacy, AT&T began preparing facilities for the NSA to monitor “phone call information and Internet traffic” seven months before 9/11.[28]

On August 17, 2007, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said it would consider a request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union which asked the intelligence court to make public its recent, classified rulings on the scope of the government’s wiretapping powers. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, presiding judge of the FISC, signed an order calling the ACLU’s motion “an unprecedented request that warrants further briefing.”[29] The FISC ordered the government to respond on the issue by August 31, saying that anything involving classified material could be filed under court seal.[30][31] On the August 31 deadline, the National Security Division of the Justice Department filed a response in opposition to the ACLU’s motion with the court.[32]

In previous developments, the case ACLU v. NSA was dismissed on July 6, 2007 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.[33] The court did not rule on the spying program’s legality. Instead, its 65-page opinion declared that the American Civil Liberties Union and the others who brought the case including academics, lawyers and journalists did not have the legal standing to sue because they could not demonstrate that they had been direct targets of the clandestine surveillance.[34] Detroit District Court judge Anna Diggs Taylor had originally ruled on August 17, 2006 that the program is illegal under FISA as well as unconstitutional under the First and Fourth amendments of the United States Constitution.[35][36][37]Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, discovered that at the time of the ruling Taylor “serves as a secretary and trustee for a foundation that donated funds to the ACLU of Michigan, a plaintiff in the case.”[38] On February 19, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, without comment, turned down an appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union, letting stand the earlier decision dismissing the case.[39]

On September 28, 2006 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act (H.R. 5825).[40] That bill now has been passed to the U.S. Senate, where three competing, mutually exclusive, billsthe Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2455) (the DeWine bill), the National Security Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2455) (the Specter bill), and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Improvement and Enhancement Act of 2006 (S.3001) (the Specter-Feinstein bill) were themselves referred for debate to the full Senate by the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 13, 2006.[41] Each of these bills would in some form broaden the statutory authorization for electronic surveillance, while still subjecting it to some restrictions. The Specter-Feinstein bill would extend the peacetime period for obtaining retroactive warrants to seven days and implement other changes to facilitate eavesdropping while maintaining FISA court oversight. The DeWine bill, the Specter bill, and the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act (passed by the House) would all authorize some limited forms or periods of warrantless electronic surveillance subject to additional programmatic oversight by either the FISC (Specter bill) or Congress (DeWine and Wilson bills).

On January 17, 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales informed U.S. Senate leaders by letter that the program would not be reauthorized by the President.[2] “Any electronic surveillance that was occurring as part of the Terrorist Surveillance Program will now be conducted subject to the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” according to his letter.[42]

On September 18, 2008, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an Internet-privacy advocacy group, filed a new lawsuit against the NSA, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and other government agencies and individuals who ordered or participated in the warrantless surveillance. They sued on behalf of AT&T customers to seek redress for what the EFF alleges to be an illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records. An earlier, ongoing suit by the EFF may be bogged down by the recent changes to FISA provisions, but these are not expected to impact this new case.[43][44]

On January 23, 2009, the administration of President Barack Obama adopted the same position as his predecessor when it urged U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to set aside a ruling in Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation et al. v. Obama, et al.[45] The Obama administration also sided with the former administration in its legal defense of July 2008 legislation that immunized the nation’s telecommunications companies from lawsuits accusing them of complicity in the eavesdropping program, according to testimony by Attorney General Eric Holder.[46]

On March 31, 2010, Judge Vaughn R. Walker, chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, ruled that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain. Declaring that the plaintiffs had been “subjected to unlawful surveillance”, the judge said the government was liable to pay them damages.[47]

In 2012, the Ninth Circuit vacated the judgment against the United States and affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the claim against Mueller.[48]

The Trailblazer Project, an NSA IT project that began in 2000, has also been linked to warrantless surveillance. It was chosen over ThinThread, which had included some privacy protections. Three ex-NSA staffers, William Binney, J. Kirke Wiebe, and Ed Loomis, all of whom had quit NSA over concerns about the legality of the agency’s activities, teamed with Diane Roark, a staffer on the House Intelligence Committee, to ask the Inspector General to investigate. A major source for the IG report was Thomas Andrews Drake, an ex-Air Force senior NSA official with an expertise in computers. Siobhan Gorman of The Baltimore Sun published a series of articles about Trailblazer in 20062007.

The FBI agents investigating the 2005 The New York Times story eventually made their way to The Baltimore Sun story, and then to Binney, Wiebe, Loomis, Roark, and Drake. In 2007 armed FBI agents raided the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe. Binney claimed they pointed guns at his head. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union. None were charged with crimes except for Drake. In 2010 he was indicted under the Espionage Act of 1917, as part of Obama’s unprecedented crackdown on leakers.[49][50] The charges against him were dropped in 2011 and he pled to a single misdemeanor.

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) regulates U.S. government agencies’ carrying out of physical searches, and electronic surveillance, wherein a significant purpose is the gathering of foreign intelligence information. “Foreign intelligence information” is defined in 50 U.S.C.1801 as information necessary to protect the U.S. or its allies against actual or potential attack from a foreign power, sabotage or international terrorism. FISA defines a “foreign power” as a foreign government or any faction(s) of a foreign government not substantially composed of US persons, or any entity directed or controlled by a foreign government. FISA provides for both criminal and civil liability for intentional electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute.

FISA provides two documents for the authorization of surveillance. First, FISA allows the Justice Department to obtain warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) before or up to 72 hours after the beginning of the surveillance. FISA authorizes a FISC judge to issue a warrant for the electronic cameras if “there is probable cause to believe that the target of the electronic surveillance is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.” 50 U.S.C. 1805(a)(3). Second, FISA permits the President or his delegate to authorize warrantless surveillance for the collection of foreign intelligence if “there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party”. 50 U.S.C. 1802(a)(1).[51]

Soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks U.S. President George W. Bush issued an executive order that authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct surveillance of certain telephone calls without obtaining a warrant from the FISC as stipulated by FISA (see 50 U.S.C.1802 50 U.S.C.1809 ). The complete details of the executive order are not known, but according to statements by the administration,[52] the authorization covers telephone calls originating overseas from or to a person suspected of having links to terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda or its affiliates even when the other party to the call is within the US. The legality of surveillance involving US persons and extent of this authorization is at the core of this controversy which has steadily grown to include:

About a week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) which authorized the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

The administration has argued that the language used in the AUMF implicitly authorized the President to exercise those powers “incident to the waging of war”, including the collection of enemy intelligence, FISA provisions notwithstanding.[8]

On January 20, 2006, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee along with lone co-sponsor Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduced S. Res. 350, a resolution “expressing the sense of the Senate that Senate Joint Resolution 23 (107th Congress), as adopted by the Senate on September 14, 2001, and subsequently enacted as the Authorization for Use of Military Force does not authorize warrantless domestic surveillance of United States citizens.”[55][56] This non-binding resolution died in the Senate without being brought up for debate or being voted upon.[57]

Because of its highly classified status, little is publicly known about the actual implementation of the NSA domestic electronic surveillance program. Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, submitted an affidavit including limited technical details known to him personally in support of a class-action lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in federal district court in San Francisco in January 2006 on behalf of AT&T customers who alleged that they had been damaged by the telecommunications corporation’s cooperation with the NSA. The lawsuit is called Hepting v. AT&T.[60][61]

A January 16, 2004 statement by Mr. Klein includes additional technical details regarding the secret 2003 construction of an NSA-operated monitoring facility in Room 641A of 611 Folsom Street in San Francisco, the site of a large SBC phone building, three floors of which are occupied by AT&T.[62][63]

According to Klein’s affidavit, the NSA-equipped room uses equipment built by Narus Corporation to intercept and analyze communications traffic, as well as perform data-mining functions.[64]

In an article appearing in the January/February 2008 issue of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers journal of Security and Privacy, noted technology experts from academia and the computing industry analyzed potential security risks posed by the NSA program, based on information contained in Klein’s affidavits as well as those of expert witness J. Scott Marcus, a designer of large-scale IP-based data networks, former CTO at GTE Internetworking and at Genuity, and former senior advisor for Internet Technology at the US Federal Communications Commission.[65] They concluded that the likely architecture of the system created serious security risks, including the danger that such a surveillance system could be exploited by unauthorized users, criminally misused by trusted insiders, or abused by government agents.[66]

Journalist Barton Gellman reported in the Washington Post that David Addington who was at that time legal counsel to former Vice President Dick Cheney was the author of the controlling legal and technical documents for the NSA surveillance program, typing the documents on a TEMPEST-shielded computer across from his desk in room 268 of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and storing them in a vault in his office.[67][68][69]

The NSA surveillance controversy involves legal issues that fall into two broad disciplines: statutory interpretation and Constitutional law. Statutory interpretation is the process of interpreting and applying legislation to the facts of a given case. Constitutional law is the body of law that governs the interpretation of the United States Constitution and covers areas of law such as the relationship between the federal government and state governments, the rights of individuals, and other fundamental aspects of the application of government authority in the United States.[70]

However, there are analogies between the NSA Spying Scandal (20012007) and Hewlett-Packard spying scandal (2006)[71] that may ease to predict the court outcomes. HP, in order to find the leak source of its board strategic minutes revealed to press, employed several contractors to investigate the leak issue but without engaging any external legal firm and supervisory stakeholder. Contractors, under supervision of the HP’s internal investigation team, confidentially used false pretense and social security numbers a spying technique namely Pretexting for obtaining phone records of suspicious board members and several journalists. Later on, the HP’s surveillance extended beyond the board of directors leaking issue and became a conspiracy for interest of the probe initiators; through which it was claimed that the informational privacy rights of even innocent employees and directors of the board, who had nothing to do with the board leaks, were violated.

In October 2006, HP’s chairwoman Patricia Dunn and HP’s former chief ethics officer Kevin Hunsaker and several private investigators were charged for criminal cases under California Penal Code such as

All of these charges were dismissed.[72]

18 U.S.C.2511(2)(f) provides in relevant part that “the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance, as defined in 50 U.S.C.1801(f) … and the intercept of domestic [communications] may be conducted.” The interpretation of this clause is central to the controversy because both sides agree that the NSA program operates outside of the procedural framework provided by FISA. The interpretive conflict arises because other provisions of FISA, including the criminal sanctions subpart 50 U.S.C.1809 include an “unless authorized by statute” provision, raising the issue of statutory ambiguity. The administration’s position is that the AUMF is an authorizing statute which satisfies the FISA criteria.

The U.S. Supreme Court faced a similar issue in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld where the government claimed that the AUMF authorized the President to detain U.S. citizens designated as an enemy combatant despite its lack of specific language to that intent and notwithstanding the provisions of 18 U.S.C.4001(a) which requires that the United States government cannot detain an American citizen except by an act of Congress. In that case, the Court ruled:

[B]ecause we conclude that the Government’s second assertion [“that 4001(a) is satisfied, because Hamdi is being detained “pursuant to an Act of Congress” [the AUMF] is correct, we do not address the first. In other words, for the reasons that follow, we conclude that the AUMF is explicit congressional authorization for the detention of individuals … and that the AUMF satisfied 4001(a)’s requirement that a detention be “pursuant to an Act of Congress”

In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld however, the court rejected the government’s argument that the AUMF implicitly authorized the President to establish military commissions in violation of the UCMJ. The opinion of the Court held:

Neither of these congressional Acts, [AUMF or ATC] however, expands the President’s authority to convene military commissions. First, while we assume that the AUMF activated the President’s war powers, see Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004)) (plurality opinion), and that those powers include the authority to convene military commissions in appropriate circumstances, see id., at 518; Quirin, 317 U. S., at 2829; see also Yamashita, 327 U. S., at 11, there is nothing in the text or legislative history of the AUMF even hinting that Congress intended to expand or alter the authorization set forth in Article 21 of the UCMJ. Cf. Yerger, 8 Wall., at 105 (“Repeals by implication are not favored”)

Determining when explicit congressional authorization is and is not required appears by this decision to require a court to first determine whether an implicit authorization would amount to a “repeal by implication” of the governing Act.

The exclusivity clause also raises a separation of powers issue. (See Constitutional law issues below)

The arguments against the legality of the NSA fall into two broad categories, those who argue that FISA raises no Constitutional issues and therefore the NSA program is illegal on its face

Common to both of these views is the argument that the participation of “US persons” as defined in FISA 50 U.S.C.1801 renders the objectional intercepts “domestic” in nature.[73] Those advocating the “no constitutional issue” position, argue that Congress has the authority it needs to legislate in this area under Article I and the Fourth Amendment[74] while those who see a constitutional conflict[75] acknowledge that the existing delineation between Congressional and Executive authority in this area is not clear[76] but that Congress, in including the exclusivity clause in FISA, meant to carve out a legitimate role for itself in this arena.

The administration holds that an exception to the normal warrant requirements exists when the purpose of the surveillance is to prevent attack from a foreign threat. Such an exception has been upheld at the Circuit Court level when the target was a foreign agent residing abroad,[77][78] a foreign agent residing in the US,[79][80][81][82] and a US citizen abroad.[83] The warrantless exception was struck down when both the target and the threat was deemed domestic.[84] The legality of targeting US persons acting as agents of a foreign power and residing in this country has not been addressed by the US Supreme Court, but has occurred at least once, in the case of Aldrich Ames.[85]

The Administration’s position with regard to statutory interpretation, as outlined in the DOJ whitepaper, is to avoid what it has termed the “difficult Constitutional questions” by

This argument, as outlined in the DOJ whitepaper, is based on the language of the AUMF, specifically, the acknowledgment of the President’s Constitutional authority contained in the preamble; “Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States”, and the language in the resolution itself;

[Be it resolved] [t]hat the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

The administration also adds that the program is legal under Title II of the USA PATRIOT Act entitled Enhanced Surveillance Procedures,[citation needed] although it is not relying upon the domestic law enforcement provisions of the PATRIOT Act for authorization of any of the NSA program activities.[citation needed] The President had said prior to this, that Americans’ civil liberties were being protected and that purely domestic wiretapping was being conducted pursuant to warrants under applicable law, including the Patriot Act.[87]

These arguments must be compared to the language of the FISA itself, which states:

Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress.[88]

Because the law only authorizes the President to bypass the FISA court during the first 15 days of a war declared by Congress (see “Declaration of war”), the administration’s argument rests on the assumption that the AUMF gave the President more power than was understood as absolutely implicit in any Congressional “declaration of war” at the time of the statute’s enactment. However, as a “declaration of war by the Congress” encompasses all military actions so declared, no matter how small, brief or otherwise constrained by Congress, the above citation could be seen as setting not a default or typical level of Presidential wartime authority, but instead a presumptive minimum, which might more often than not be extended (explicitly or implicitly) by Congress’s war declaration.

According to Peter J. Wallison, former White House Counsel to President Ronald Reagan: “It is true, of course, that a president’s failure to report to Congress when he is required to do so by law is a serious matter, but in reality the reporting requirement was a technicality that a President could not be expected to know about.”[89] In regard to this program, a Gang of Eight (eight key members of Congress, thirteen in this case between the 107th and 109th Congressional Sessions) have been kept informed to some degree:

Under the National Security Act of 1947, 501503, codified as 50 USC 413-413b,[90] the President is required to keep Congressional intelligence committees “fully and currently” informed of U.S. intelligence activities, “consistent with … protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.” For covert actions, from which intelligence gathering activities are specifically excluded in 413b(e)(1), the President is specifically permitted to limit reporting to the so-called “Gang of Eight”.[91]

The administration contends that with regard to the NSA surveillance program, the administration fulfilled its notification obligations by briefing key members of Congress (thirteen individuals in this case between the 107th and 109th Congressional sessions) have been briefed on the NSA program more than a dozen times[citation needed] but they were forbidden from sharing information about the program with other members or staff.[citation needed]

On January 18, 2006 the Congressional Research Service released a report, “Statutory Procedures Under Which Congress Is To Be Informed of U.S. Intelligence Activities, Including Covert Actions”.[92][93] That report found that “[b]ased upon publicly reported descriptions of the program, the NSA surveillance program would appear to fall more closely under the definition of an intelligence collection program, rather than qualify as a covert action program as defined by statute”, and, therefore, concluded there was no specific statutory basis for limiting briefings on the terrorist surveillance program to the Gang of Eight.[94] However, the report goes on to note in its concluding paragraph that limited disclosure is also permitted under the statute “in order to protect intelligence sources and methods”.[95]

Thus, although the specific statutory “Gang of Eight” notification procedure for covert action would not seem to apply to the NSA program, it is not clear if a limited notification procedure intended to protect sources and methods is expressly prohibited. Additionally, should the sources and methods exception apply it will require a factual determination as to whether it should apply to disclosure of the program itself or only to specific sensitive aspects.

The constitutional debate surrounding executive authorization of warrantless surveillance is principally about separation of powers (“checks and balances”). If, as discussed above, no “fair reading” of FISA can be found in satisfaction of the canon of avoidance, these issues will have to be decided at the appellate level, by United States courts of appeals. It should be noted that in such a separation of powers dispute, the burden of proof is placed upon the Congress to establish its supremacy in the matter: the Executive branch enjoys the presumption of authority until an Appellate Court rules against it.[citation needed]

Article I vests Congress with the sole authority “To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces” and “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” The U.S. Supreme Court has used the “necessary and proper” clause of Article I to affirm broad Congressional authority to legislate as it sees fit in the domestic arena[citation needed] but has limited its application in the arena of foreign affairs. In the landmark Curtiss-Wright decision, Justice Sutherland writes in his opinion of the Court:

The [“powers of the federal government in respect of foreign or external affairs and those in respect of domestic or internal affairs”] are different, both in respect of their origin and their nature. The broad statement that the federal government can exercise no powers except those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and such implied powers as are necessary and proper to carry into effect the enumerated powers, is categorically true only in respect of our internal affairs.

Article II vests the President with power as “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,” and requires that he “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”.

The U.S. Supreme Court has historically used Article II to justify wide deference to the President in the arena of foreign affairs.[citation needed] Two historical and recent Supreme Court cases define the secret wiretapping by the NSA. Quoting again from the Curtiss-Wright decision:

It is important to bear in mind that we are here dealing not alone with an authority vested in the President by an exertion of legislative power, but with such an authority plus the very delicate, plenary and exclusive power of the President as the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relationsa power which does not require as a basis for its exercise an act of Congress, but which, of course, like every other governmental power, must be exercised in subordination to the applicable provisions of the Constitution.

The extent of the President’s power as Commander-in-Chief has never been fully defined, but two U.S. Supreme Court cases are considered seminal in this area:[96][97]Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer and Curtiss-Wright.

In addition, two relatively new cases, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, have clarified, and in the case of Hamdan limited, the scope of executive power to detain and try suspected terrorists as enemy combatants.

In Hamdan, the Court’s opinion in footnote 23, rejected the notion that Congress is impotent to regulate the exercise of executive war powers:

Whether or not the President has independent power, absent congressional authorization, to convene military commissions, he may not disregard limitations that Congress has, in proper exercise of its own war powers, placed on his powers. See Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U. S. 579, 637 (1952) (Jackson, J., concurring). The Government does not argue otherwise.

Whether “proper exercise” of Congressional war powers includes authority to regulate the gathering of foreign intelligence, which in other rulings[citation needed] has been recognized as “fundamentally incident to the waging of war”, is a historical point of contention between the Executive and Legislative branches.[8][98]

As noted in “Presidential Authority to Conduct Warrantless Electronic Surveillance to Gather Foreign Intelligence Information”, published by The Congressional Research Service:

A review of the history of intelligence collection and its regulation by Congress suggests that the two political branches have never quite achieved a meeting of the minds regarding their respective powers. Presidents have long contended that the ability to conduct surveillance for intelligence purposes is a purely executive function, and have tended to make broad assertions of authority while resisting efforts on the part of Congress or the courts to impose restrictions. Congress has asserted itself with respect to domestic surveillance, but has largely left matters involving overseas surveillance to executive self-regulation, subject to congressional oversight and willingness to provide funds.

The same report makes clear the Congressional view that intelligence gathered within the U.S. and where “one party is a U.S. person” qualifies as domestic in nature and as such completely within their purview to regulate, and further that Congress may “tailor the President’s use of an inherent constitutional power”:

The passage of FISA and the inclusion of such exclusivity language reflects Congress’s view of its authority to cabin the President’s use of any inherent constitutional authority with respect to warrantless electronic surveillance to gather foreign intelligence.

The Senate Judiciary Committee articulated its view with respect to congressional power to tailor the President’s use of an inherent constitutional power:

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights and helps guard against “unreasonable” searches and seizures by agents of the government. It is solely a right of the people that neither the Executive nor Legislative branch can lawfully abrogate, not even if acting in concert: no statute can make an unreasonable search reasonable, nor a reasonable search unreasonable.

The term “unreasonable” is deliberately imprecise but connotes the sense that there is a rational basis for the search and that it is not an excessive imposition upon the individual given the motivation for and circumstances of the search, and is in accordance with customary societal norms. It is conceived that a judge will be sufficiently distanced from the authorities seeking a warrant that they can render an impartial decision unaffected by any prejudices or improper motivations they (or the legislators who enacted a law they are seeking to enforce) may harbor.

An individual who believes their Fourth Amendment rights have been violated by an unreasonable search or seizure may file a civil suit for monetary compensation and seek a court-ordered end to a pattern or practice of such unlawful activities by government authorities, although the plaintiff will need to have evidence that such a wiretap is taking place in order to show standing (Amnesty International v. Clapper). Such civil rights violations are sometimes punishable by state or federal law. Evidence obtained in an unlawful search or seizure is generally inadmissible in a criminal trial.

The law countenances searches without warrant as “reasonable” in numerous circumstances, among them (see below): the persons, property, and papers of individuals crossing the border of the United States and those of paroled felons; in prisons, public schools and government offices; and of international mail. Although these are undertaken as a result of statute or Executive order, they should not be seen as deriving their legitimacy from these, rather, the Fourth Amendment explicitly allows reasonable searches, and the government has instituted some of these as public policy.

The Supreme Court held in Katz v. United States (1967), that the monitoring and recording of private conversations within the United States constitutes a “search” for Fourth Amendment purposes, and therefore the government must generally obtain a warrant before undertaking such domestic recordings.

The Supreme Court has also held in Smith v Maryland (1979) that citizens have no Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy in the business records (sometimes termed metadata) of their communications. This means that the court can subpoena data such as the numbers that an individual has phoned, when and, to a limited degree, where (subject to Jones v. United States) the phone conversation occurred, although a full judicial warrant would be required for the government to acquire or admit audio content from the telephone call. Under Section 215 of the PATRIOT act, the FBI can subpoena some or all such records from a business record holder using a warrant applied for in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The protection of “private conversations” has been held to apply only to conversations where the participants have not only manifested a desire but also a reasonable expectation that their conversation is indeed private and that no other party is listening in. In the absence of such a reasonable expectation, the Fourth Amendment does not apply, and surveillance without warrant does not violate it. Privacy is clearly not a reasonable expectation in communications to persons in the many countries whose governments openly intercept electronic communications, and is of dubious reasonability in countries against which the United States is waging war.

The law also recognizes a distinction between domestic surveillance taking place within U.S. borders and foreign surveillance of non-U.S. persons either in the U.S. or abroad.[99] In United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the principle that the Constitution does not extend protection to non-U.S. persons located outside of the United States, so no warrant would be required to engage in even physical searches of non-U.S. citizens abroad.

The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of warrantless searches targeting foreign powers or their agents within the US. There have been, however, a number of Circuit Court rulings upholding the constitutionality of such warrantless searches.[100] In United States v. Bin Laden, the Second Circuit noted that “no court, prior to FISA, that was faced with the choice, imposed a warrant requirement for foreign intelligence searches undertaken within the United States.”[101] Assistant Attorney General William Moschella in his written response to questions from the House Judiciary Committee explained that in the administration’s view, this unanimity of pre-FISA Circuit Court decisions vindicates their argument that warrantless foreign-intelligence surveillance authority existed prior to FISA and since, as these ruling indicate, that authority derives from the Executive’s inherent Article II powers, they may not be encroached by statute.[102] In 2002, the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (Court of Review) met for the first time and issued an opinion (In re: Sealed Case No. 02-001) which seems to echo that view. They too noted all the Federal courts of appeal having looked at the issue had concluded that there was constitutional power for the president to conduct warrantless foreign intelligence surveillance. Furthermore, based on these rulings it “took for granted such power exits” and ruled that under this presumption, “FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power.” Professor Orin Kerr argues in rebuttal that the part of In re: Sealed Case No. 02-001 that dealt with FISA (rather than the Fourth Amendment) was nonbinding obiter dicta and that the argument does not restrict Congress’s power to regulate the executive in general.[103]

Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School, Suzanne Spaulding, former general counsel for the Intelligence Committees of the House and Senate, and former Counsel to the President John Dean, contend that FISA clearly makes the wiretapping illegal and subject to the criminal penalties of FISA,[104] (in seeming disagreement with the FISA Court of Review finding above) and that the president’s own admissions already constitute sufficient evidence of a violation of the Fourth Amendment, without requiring further factual evidence. Professor John C. Eastman, in his analysis, prepared at the behest of the House Judiciary Committee, comparing the CRS and DOJ reports, concluded instead that under the Constitution and ratified by both historical and Supreme Court precedent, “the President clearly has the authority to conduct surveillance of enemy communications in time of war and of the communications to and from those he reasonably believes are affiliated with our enemies. Moreover, it should go without saying that such activities are a fundamental incident of war.”[105]

Orin S. Kerr, associate professor of law at The George Washington University Law School[106] and a leading scholar in the subjects of computer crime law and internet surveillance,[107] points to an analogy between the NSA intercepts and searches allowed by the Fourth Amendment under the border search exception.

The border search exception permits searches at the border of the United States “or its functional equivalent.” (United States v. Montoya De Hernandez, 473 U.S. 531, 538 (1985)). The idea here is that the United States as a sovereign nation has a right to inspect stuff entering or exiting the country as a way of protecting its sovereign interests, and that the Fourth Amendment permits such searches. Courts have applied the border search exception in cases of PCs and computer hard drives; if you bring a computer into or out of the United States, the government can search your computer for contraband or other prohibited items at the airport or wherever you are entering or leaving the country. See, e.g., United States v. Ickes, 393 F.3d 501 (4th Cir. 2005) (Wilkinson, J.)…At the same time, I don’t know of a rationale in the case law for treating data differently than physical storage devices. The case law on the border search exception is phrased in pretty broad language, so it seems at least plausible that a border search exception could apply to monitoring at an ISP or telephone provider as the “functional equivalent of the border,” much like airports are the functional equivalent of the border in the case of international airline travel…the most persuasive case on point: United States v. Ramsey, [held] that the border search exception applies to all international postal mail, permitting all international postal mail to be searched.

Evidence gathered without warrant may raise significant Fourth Amendment issues which could preclude its use in a criminal trial. As a general rule of law, evidence obtained improperly without lawful authority, may not be used in a criminal prosecution.[citation needed] The U.S. Supreme Court has never addressed the constitutionality of warrantless searches (which has been broadly defined by the court to include surveillance) targeting foreign powers or their agents, the admissibility of such evidence in a criminal trial nor whether it is permissible to obtain or use evidence gathered without warrant against US persons acting as agents of a foreign power.[citation needed]

The National Security Act of 1947[108] requires Presidential findings for covert acts. SEC. 503. [50 U.S.C. 413b] (a) (5) of that act states: “A finding may not authorize any action that would violate the Constitution or any statute of the United States.”

On August 17, 2006, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled in ACLU v. NSA that the Terrorist Surveillance Program was unconstitutional under the Fourth and First Amendments and enjoined the NSA from using the program to conduct electronic surveillance “in contravention of [FISA or Title III]”.[36] In her ruling,[109] she wrote:

The President of the United States, a creature of the same Constitution which gave us these Amendments, has indisputably violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders as required by FISA, and accordingly has violated the First Amendment Rights of these Plaintiffs as well.

Even some legal experts who agreed with the outcome have criticized the reasoning set forth in the opinion.[110] Others have argued that the perceived flaws in the opinion in fact reflect the Department of Justice’s refusal to argue the legal merits of the program (they chose to focus solely on arguments about standing and state secrets grounds).[111]

On October 4, 2006, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit unanimously ruled that the government can continue the program while it appeals the lower court decision.[112][113]

On July 6, 2007 the Sixth Circuit dismissed the case, finding that the plaintiffs had no standing.

The Court found that:[114]

[T]he plaintiffs do not and because of the State Secrets Doctrine cannot produce any evidence that any of their own communications have ever been intercepted by the NSA, under the TSP, or without warrants. Instead, they assert a mere belief, which they contend is reasonable and which they label a well founded belief,…

Implicit in each of the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries is the underlying possibility which the plaintiffs label a “well founded belief” and seek to treat as a probability or even a certainty that the NSA is presently intercepting, or will eventually intercept, communications to or from one or more of these particular plaintiffs, and that such interception would be detrimental to the plaintiffs’ clients, sources, or overseas contacts. This is the premise upon which the plaintiffs’ entire theory is built.

But even though the plaintiffs’ beliefs based on their superior knowledge of their contacts’ activities may be reasonable, the alternative possibility remains that the NSA might not be intercepting, and might never actually intercept, any communication by any of the plaintiffs named in this lawsuit.

Corporate secrecy is also an issue. Wired reported: In a letter to the EFF, AT&T objected to the filing of the documents in any manner, saying that they contain sensitive trade secrets and could be “used to ‘hack’ into the AT&T network, compromising its integrity.”[115] However, Chief Judge Vaughn Walker stated, during the September 12, 2008 hearing in the class-action lawsuit filed by the EFF, that the Klein evidence could be presented in court, effectively ruling that AT&T’s trade secret and security claims were unfounded.

The majority of legal arguments supporting the NSA warrantless surveillance program have been based on the War Powers Resolution. There have not been any other noteworthy types of supporting legal arguments. The War Powers Resolution has been questioned as unconstitutional since its creation, and its adaptation to the NSA warrantless surveillance program has been questionable.

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Annapolis (NSA) | Installations | Lincoln Military Housing

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Sep 102015

Home of the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis is also the state capital of Maryland. Located on the Chesapeake Bay, 33 miles east of Washington, D.C. and 30 miles southeast of Baltimore, Annapolis enjoys mild weather with average winter temperatures of 33 F and summer temperatures of around 90 F.

Lincoln Military Housing offers 10 military communities in Annapolis, comprised of 288 homes servicing the United States Naval Academy.

The city is rich in history and heritage: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson once strolled the picturesque streets near Annapolis harbor, and, today, its downtown has been established as a National Historic District, housing some of the finest 17th and 18th Century buildings in the country. It is also home to St. John’s Collegethe country’s third oldest collegewith its 400-year-old Liberty Treeone of the last trees of its kind in America named to commemorate the legendary meeting place of the Sons of Liberty before the American Revolution.

Annapolis is filled with opportunities for fun adventure. A sampling includes the Chesapeake Children’s Museum, Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake, and a visit to the archaeological digs at Historic London Town and Gardens. And for science lovers, be sure to visit the Cryptological Museum and Historical Electronics Museum.

For information about schools, local services and other amenities in the area, follow the community links on this Web site. For more information on living in Annapolis, visit

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XBT – Bitcoin rates, news, and tools –

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Sep 032015

Bitcoin information Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency. This currency is exchanged digitally and managed by a peer-to-peer network, rather than a central bank or authority. The supply of Bitcoins is automated and released to mining servers; with a limit of 21 million Bitcoins being reached by 2140. Each Bitcoin is a piece of code that has its own transaction log with timestamps. The coins are stored in an owner’s virtual wallet and can be transferred and exchanged for goods and services. Transactions are public and although they are relatively anonymous, it is possible trace identities back to real-life individuals. There is debate as to whether or not Bitcoin should be considered a currency, a commodity, or a hybrid of both.

Risks in Using Bitcoins Bitcoins are associated with a high level of risk, as they are volatile, not time-tested, and currently under no regulation or legislation. There have been incidents of online Bitcoin wallets being compromised by hackers leading to theft of Bitcoins.

Bitcoin Currency Code Bitcoin is not recognized by the ISO and therefore does not have an official ISO 4217 code. A currency code is generally built from the two-digit ISO 3316 country code and a third letter for the currency. Although “BTC” is often used in the Bitcoin community, BT is the country code of Bhutan. An X-code reflects currencies that are used internationally and so, XE has chosen to use XBT to represent Bitcoin.

Bitcoin History Introduced in 2009, Bitcoin was created by a developer or group of developers going by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Initially the value of the currency was set by users on forums until the first exchange outlet was established. It is known as a “crypto-currency”; meaning that the money and transactions are secured and controlled through encrypted passwords. Since its introduction, Bitcoins have been gaining momentum worldwide, with over 1,000 merchants accepting the currency.

Relevant Links For more information on Bitcoin, we encourage you to visit the links below.

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Bitcoin: Pictures, Videos, Breaking News – The Huffington Post

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin: Pictures, Videos, Breaking News – The Huffington Post
Sep 032015

If your kid downloads Tor or knows other kids who are on it, it’s important to talk about the implications. The Deep Web isn’t a safe place to hang out.

The blockchain is a key part of the system that underlies recordkeeping and transactions for Bitcoin, the virtual currency. But there are much bigger opportunities ahead for this decentralized recordkeeping system.


How Tech Transforms Business and Society

As I walked around TechCrunch Disrupt NYC recently, I was bombarded with messaging, product demos and pitches. Until I met a young lady who didn’t know I was a tech journo. She had one goal, after I announced that “Bitcoin isn’t my thing.” To change my mind.


Business, Technology, Entrepreneurship & Rock ‘n Roll Journalist

THE STORY Bitcoin is still a thing — a thing people are confused by. Turns out being a currency that could change the future of payments isn’t easy. …


theSkimm makes it easier to be smarter. We read. You Skimm. Sign up at to start your day off right.

If you know what Bitcoin is and have been following its development, you’ve probably heard the news. Stock exchanges have begun to take bitcoins seriously. This looks like a breakthrough, especially considering the fact that the NYSE now uses Bitcoin-like mechanisms when issuing securities.

Escalating tensions between the US and China, while ominous, offer a useful reminder that the artificial division of our world into separate nation-states may no longer serve us, and present a compelling reason to consider a better model.

Activists can improve their alternative media success by embracing alternative currencies like Bitcoin. I live in Britain where I’ve just witnessed an entire generation of activists get their clock’s cleaned by a Conservative sweep in the May 7th Parliamentary elections.

Max Keiser

CEO, co-founder, StartCOIN Hldgs. Crypto Currency and Crowdfunding Pioneer. Created

Just as a true artist lives by his or her art–creating and being remembered through a legacy of masterpieces–Nakamoto’s anonymity perfectly mirrors the anonymity of his Bitcoin masterpiece.

The Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal may have been killed because regulators didn’t believe that the resultant mega-ISP could be trusted as a central authority, but we are just a few years away from the emergence of a trustless society where digital citizens, like you and me, would have taken away that danger.

Shelly Palmer

Business Advisor, Author, Commentator and Host of Fox Television’s Shelly Palmer Digital Living.

At the core of the next generation of the Internet is the technology underlying the digital currency Bitcoin: the blockchain. At its most basic, the blockchain is a global spreadsheet, an incorruptible digital ledger of financial transactions that can be programmed to record virtually everything of value and importance to humankind.

Don Tapscott

Advisor to government and business leaders; Author, The Digital Economy, 20th Anniversary Edition

The notion of national currencies and fiat money is central to modern economies and government financing. I can’t see a world in the foreseeable future, where sovereign nation states give up the control over what currency must be used for conducting its business.

Late last month, ISIS was driven out of the Syrian city of Kobani, thanks to over 100 days of US-led airstrikes and the actions of Kurdish fighters. But this could also be bad news for other parts of the country and potential targets abroad, as this Sunni extremist organization reorients its focus. What can we expect of ISIS in the coming months?

Dr. Maha Hosain Aziz

Professor, Consultant, Blogger, Cartoonist in Political Risk, Prediction & Strategy

The general acceptance of Bitcoin could have profound consequences, leading to a more egalitarian distribution of wealth and a more stable society. But in order for that to happen, there are two important things we must do.

We must not allow this new “Freecoin” to be owned or bought and sold with real money. For the moment that a currency becomes interest-bearing and is subject to transaction and storage charges, it becomes a tradable commodity itself and it loses its equalizing value.

In mid December, Time Inc. was the latest in a string of companies to announce that it would start accepting bitcoin in payment, following on the heel…

April Rudin

Wealth Marketing Strategies, The Rudin Group

A world where much of the communication, transactions, commerce have to be over a dark web would be a pretty effed up place, like one where people had to pass along literature through samizdat and do commerce in back alleys.

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Hampton Roads – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Aug 312015

2013 Fortune 500 Corporations[53]

Hampton Roads has become known as the “world’s greatest natural harbor”. The port is located only 18 miles (29km) from open ocean on one of the world’s deepest, natural ice-free harbors. Since 1989, Hampton Roads has been the mid-Atlantic leader in U.S. waterborne foreign commerce and is ranked second nationally behind the Port of South Louisiana based on export tonnage. When import and export tonnage are combined, the Port of Hampton Roads ranks as the third largest port in the country (following the ports of New Orleans/South Louisiana and Houston). In 1996, Hampton Roads was ranked ninth among major U.S. ports in vessel port calls with approximately 2,700. In addition, this port is the U.S. leader in coal exports. The coal loading facilities in the Port of Hampton Roads are able to load in excess of 65 million tons annually, giving the port the largest, most efficient and modern coal loading facilities in the world.

It is little surprise therefore that the Hampton Roads region’s economic base is largely port-related, including shipbuilding, ship repair, naval installations, cargo transfer and storage, and manufacturing related to the processing of imports and exports. Associated with the ports’ military role are almost 50,000 federal civilian employees.

The harbor of Hampton Roads is an important highway of commerce, especially for the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (formerly Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company), was created in 2008 as a spinoff of Northrop Grumman Newport News and is the world’s largest shipyard. It is located a short distance up the James River. In Portsmouth, a few miles up the Elizabeth River, the historic Norfolk Naval Shipyard is located. BAE Systems, formerly known as NORSHIPCO, operates from sites in the City of Norfolk. There are also several smaller shipyards, numerous docks and terminals.

Massive coal piers and loading facilities were established in the late 19th and early 20th century by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O), Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W), and Virginian Railway (VGN). The latter two were predecessors of the Norfolk Southern Railway, a Class I railroad which has its headquarters in Norfolk, and continues to export coal from a large facility at Lambert’s Point on the Elizabeth River. CSX Transportation now serves the former C&O facility at Newport News. (The VGN’s former coal facility at Sewell’s Point has been gone since the 1960s, and the property is now part of the expansive Norfolk Navy Base).

Almost 80% of the region’s economy is derived from federal sources. This includes the large military presence, but also NASA and facilities of the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Commerce and Veterans Affairs. The region also receives a substantial impact in government student loans and grants, university research grants, and federal aid to cities.

The Hampton Roads area has the largest concentration of military bases and facilities of any metropolitan area in the world. Nearly one-fourth of the nations active-duty military personnel are stationed in Hampton Roads, and 45% of the region’s $81B gross regional output is Defense-related.[54][55] All five military services operating forces are there, as well as several major command headquarters: Hampton Roads is a chief rendezvous of the United States Navy, and the area is home to the Allied Command Transformation, which is the only major military command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on U.S. soil. Langley Air Force Base is home to Air Combat Command (ACC). The Norfolk Navy Base is located at Sewell’s Point near the mouth, on the site used for the tercentennial Jamestown Exposition in 1907. For a width of 500 feet (150m) the Federal government during 1902 through 1905 increased its minimum depth at low water from 25.5 to 30 feet (8 to 9m), and the channel has now been dredged to a depth of 55 feet (17m) in some places.

NASA’s Langley Research Center, located on the Peninsula adjacent to Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, is home to scientific and aerospace technology research. The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (commonly known as Jefferson Labs) is located nearby in Newport News.

The area’s experiences with commercial and retail centers began early in 1918. Afton Square, located in the Cradock naval community of Portsmouth, was the first planned shopping center in the USA and has served as template for future developments throughout the nation.[56]

Hampton Roads experienced tremendous growth during and after World War II. In the 1950s, a trend in retail was the shopping center, a group of stores along a common sidewalk adjacent to off-street parking, usually in a suburban location.

In 1959, one of the largest on the east coast of the USA was opened at the northeast corner of Military Highway and Virginia Beach Boulevard on property which had formally been used as an airfield. The new JANAF Shopping Center, located in Norfolk, featured acres of free parking and dozens of stores. Backed by retired military personnel, the name JANAF was an acronym for Joint Army Navy Air Force.[57]

During the 1950s and early 1960s, other shopping centers in Hampton Roads were developed, such as Wards Corner Shopping Center, Downtown Plaza Shopping Center and Southern Shopping Center in Norfolk; Mid-City Shopping Center in Portsmouth; Hilltop Shopping Center (now known as The Shops at Hilltop) in Virginia Beach; Riverdale Shopping Center in Hampton and the Warwick-Denbigh Shopping Center in Newport News.

In the late-1960s, a new type of shopping center came to Hampton Roads: the Indoor Shopping Mall. In 1965, South Hampton Roads broke ground on its first shopping mall in Virginia Beach, known as Pembroke Mall. The mall opened in 1966, and became Hampton Road’s newest indoor shopping destination. The Virginia Peninsula had its first indoor shopping mall in 1973, with Coliseum Mall. Coliseum Mall drew so much traffic from Interstate 64, that a towering flyover was built at the Mercury Boulevard and Coliseum Drive intersection, to accommodate eastbound mall traffic, from the Mercury Boulevard interchange. Coliseum Mall was demolished to make way for the open air mixed-use development Peninsula Town Center. Also in the 1970s, Tower Mall was built in Portsmouth, but was torn down and turned into the Victory Crossing shopping development. In Norfolk, Military Circle Mall on Military Highway was built across Virginia Beach Boulevard from the large JANAF Shopping Center with its own high-rise hotel right in the center. In 1981, Greenbrier Mall gave Chesapeake a shopping mall of its own as well, and Virginia Beach got the massive Lynnhaven Mall the same year.

MacArthur Center opened in March 1999, which made downtown Norfolk a prime shoppers destination, with the region’s first Nordstrom department store anchor. MacArthur Center is compared to other downtown malls, such as Baltimore’s Harborplace, Indianapolis’ Circle Centre Mall, Atlanta’s Lenox Square Mall and most comparably to The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Virginia.

Currently, Virginia Beach’s Lynnhaven Mall is the region’s largest shopping center with nearly 180 stores, and is one of the region’s biggest tourist draws, with the Virginia Beach oceanfront, Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens Williamsburg: The Old Country and MacArthur Center.

For a long time, the indoor shopping malls were seen as largely competitive with small shopping centers and traditional downtown type areas. However, in the 1990s and since, the “big-box stores” on the Peninsula and Southside, such as Wal-mart, Home Depot, and Target have been creating a new competitive atmosphere for the shopping malls of Hampton Roads.

Several older malls such as Pembroke and Military Circle have since their grand openings been renovated, and others have been closed and torn down. Newmarket North Mall is now NetCenter, a business center (the Sears store remains). Coliseum Mall, in Hampton, has been redeveloped as Peninsula Town Center in a new style, in step with the latest commercial real estate trend: the nationwide establishment of “lifestyle centers”. Additional malls which have closed include Mercury Mall in Hampton (converted to Mercury Plaza Shopping Center in the mid-1980s, then completely torn down in 2001), and Tower Mall in Portsmouth (Built in the early 1970s, then torn down in 2001).

In late 2006, the Hampton Roads Partnership, a non-profit organization representing 17 localities (ten cities, six counties, and one town), all local universities and major military commands as well as leading businesses in southeastern Virginia, commenced a campaign aimed at branding the land area of Hampton Roads as “America’s First Region”.

The new title is based on events in 1607 when English Captain Christopher Newport’s three ships the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery landed at Cape Henry along the Atlantic Coast in what is today Virginia Beach. After 18 days of exploring the area, the ships and their crews arrived at Jamestown Island where they established the first English speaking settlement to survive in the New World on May 14, 1607.

Because the region’s east-west boundaries (now the City of Virginia Beach and James City County) have not changed since 1607, the Partnership felt justified in labeling Hampton Roads “America’s First Region”. It unveiled the new brand before 800 people at the annual meeting of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce on December 13, 2006. A video shown that afternoon included endorsements from mayors and county board of supervisors chairs representing Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and James City County as well as the Governor of Virginia, Timothy Kaine.[58][citation needed]

The mission of Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (HREDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to business attractionmarketing the Hampton Roads region as the preferred location for business investment and expansion. HREDA represents the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Franklin, as well as the counties of Gloucester, James City, Isle of Wight, York, and Southampton.[59]

In 1998, a flag representing the Hampton Roads region was adopted. The design of the flag was created by a contest. The winner, sixteen-year-old Andrew J. Wall of Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, raised the new regional flag for the first time on the mast of a ship moored in the harbor.

As conceived by student Andrew Wall and embellished by the selection committee, his flag is highly symbolic:

The area is most often associated with the larger American South. People who have grown up in the Hampton Roads area have a unique Tidewater accent which sounds different from a stereotypical Southern accent. Vowels have a longer pronunciation than in a regular southern accent.[61]

There’s also a wealth of other points of history to explore in the Hampton Roads area. Led by the Historic Triangle area, Hampton Roads consistently rates among the top tourism destinations in the world.

Cultural attractions include museums, historical sites, and venues from tiny to massively large for such things as art and musical shows. The region hosts two week-long visits by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus each year with multiple performances at Norfolk Scope and the Hampton Coliseum, and even attracts a group of Circus Train Enthusiasts, railfans who watch, photograph and report on the blue or red unit trains as they make their move between the two sites, requiring a long inland trip through Petersburg and Richmond in order to avoid crossing the 10-mile (16km) geographical distance across the harbor (a trip impassable directly by modern trains; the two bridge-tunnel facilities operated by VDOT accommodate only highway traffic).

The Historic Triangle is located on the Virginia Peninsula and includes the colonial communities of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, with many restored attractions linked by the Colonial Parkway.

The National Park Service’s Colonial Parkway joins the three popular attractions of Colonial Virginia with a scenic and bucolic roadway carefully shielded from views of commercial development. This helps visitors mentally return to the past, and there are often views of wildlife and waterfowl. This two lane roadway is the best (but not quickest) way to move between the three points. Near the James River and York River ends of the parkway, there are several pull-offs, where some families allow their children to feed bread to the seagulls. Commercial vehicles, except for tour buses, are prohibited.

For an even better experience, approach the area from the south by water from Surry County with a ride aboard one of the Jamestown Ferrys, which include the Pocahontas and Williamsburg. As passengers cross, they can walk about the boat or go up to an enclosed viewing level with restrooms. Weather and daylight permitting, passengers usually see Jamestown Island much as the first colonists may have approached it. In fact, the replicas of Christopher Newport’s the three tiny ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery are docked near the northern ferry landing at Glass House Point. Both the Jamestown Ferry and Colonial Parkway are toll-free.

The first permanent English settlement in the New World which was established at Jamestown in 1607. The 350th anniversary celebration at Jamestown Festival Park in 1957 was so popular, tourism has been continuously increasing ever since. The 400th anniversary was celebrated with an 18-month-long celebration called Jamestown 2007.

Today, at Jamestown, you can visit recreations of an American Indian village and colonial fort, and archaeological sites where current work is underway by archaeologistss from the Jamestown Rediscovery project, with recently recovered archaeological artifacts in a new display building. Replicas of the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery are docked nearby.

The two major attractions, which are complementary to each other, are the state-sponsored Jamestown Settlement near the entrance to Jamestown Island, and the National Park Service’s Historic Jamestowne, on Jamestown Island itself.

In 1699, the first capital of Virginia was moved to Middle Plantation at the suggestion of students from the College of William & Mary (established 1693). It was soon renamed to Williamsburg, but became a largely forgotten little town after the capital was moved to Richmond in 1780. Largely due to the 20th-century preservation efforts of the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church and the generosity of Standard Oil heir John D. Rockefeller Jr., today Colonial Williamsburg is a large living museum of early American life. It has dozens of restored and recreated buildings and reenactors. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The Visitor’s Center (right off the Colonial Parkway) features a short movie and is an excellent place to start (and leave automobiles, which are restricted from the restored area, where wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus service is provided).

Bassett Hall, an 18th-century farmhouse, is located in Williamsburg just southeast of the Historic Area, was the Williamsburg home for over 25 years of the family of John D. Rockefeller Jr and his family from the mid-1930s until 1960, following over 7 years of restoration and expansions. The Rockefeller family bequeathed Bassett Hall to Colonial Williamsburg in 1979.[62] The home is now open to the public and appears much as it did in the 1930s and 1940s when the Rockefellers made it their home.[63]

The third point of the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia is Yorktown where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in 1781, ending the American Revolution. There are two large visitor centers, battlefield drives, and a waterfront area.

Notwithstanding the amazingly successful efforts to provide a non-commercial atmosphere at the three Historic Triangle areas (and on the Colonial Parkway between them), there are many hotels, motels, campgrounds, restaurants, shops and stores, gasoline stations, and amusements close by.

The Mariners’ Museum, founded in 1930 by Archer and Anna Huntington, is an institution dedicated to bringing maritime history to the world. It is currently home to the USS Monitor Center where 210 tons of artifacts recovered from the USS Monitor are held, including the gun turret. The museum also consists of a 550-acre park and Lake Maury, through which is the five-mile Noland Trail. The permanent collection at the museum totals about 32,000 objects, equally divided between works of art and three-dimensional objects. The Mariners’ Museum Library and Archive, now located in the Trible Library at Christopher Newport University, consists of over 78,000 books, 800,000 photographs, films and negatives, and over one million archival pieces, making it the largest maritime library in the Western hemisphere.[64]

The Virginia War Museum covers American military history. The Museum’s collection includes, weapons, vehicles, artifacts, uniforms and posters from various periods of American history. Highlights of the Museum’s collection include a section of the Berlin Wall and the outer wall from Dachau Concentration Camp.[65]

The Virginia Living Museum, first established in 1966, combines the elements of a native wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve, and planetarium. The exhibits are themed on the geographic regions of Virginia, from the Appalachian Mountains to the offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and includes more than 245 different animal species.[66]

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News contains a rotating gallery of art exhibits. The Center also contains a Studio Art School of private and group instruction for all ages. It maintains a permanent “Hands On For Kids” gallery designed for children and families to interact in what the Center describes as “a fun, educational environment that encourages participation with art materials and concepts.”[67]

The Hampton University museum was established in 1868 in the heart of the historic Hampton University campus. The Museum is the oldest African American museum in the United States and one of the oldest museums in the State of Virginia. It contains over 9,000 objects, including African American fine arts, traditional African, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Asian art.[68]

The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center is Hampton’s public access arts center. It offers a series of changing visual art exhibitions as well as a quarterly schedule of classes, workshops and educational programs.[69]

The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in SE Newport News contains a community-based art gallery, as well as arts classrooms and the Ella Fitzgerald Theater.[70]

The Casemate Museum (where former Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned) is at Fort Monroe in the historic Phoebus area at Old Point Comfort in Hampton.[71]

NASA Langley Research Center is in Hampton, the original training ground for the Mercury Seven, Gemini, and Apollo Astronauts. Visitors are able to learn about the region’s aviation history at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.[72]

Air Power Park is an outdoor on-site display of various aircraft and a space capsule. It is located on Mercury Boulevard at the intersection of LaSalle Blvd, near the AF Base.

The Biblical Art Gallery at Ivy Farms Baptist Church is Virginia’s largest collection of pre-1900s religious art.

The Chrysler Museum of Art, located in the Ghent district of Norfolk, is the region’s foremost art museum and is considered by the New York Times to be the finest in the state.[74] Of particular note is the extensive glass collection and American neoclassical marble sculptures.

Nauticus, the National Maritime Center, opened on the downtown waterfront in 1994. It features hands-on exhibits, interactive theaters, aquaria, digital high-definition films and an extensive variety of educational programs. Since 2000, Nauticus has been home to the battleship USS Wisconsin, one of the last battleships to be built in the United States. It served briefly in World War II and later in the Korean and Gulf Wars.[75] The General Douglas MacArthur Memorial, located in the 19th-century Norfolk court house and city hall in downtown, contains the tombs of the late General and his wife, a museum and a vast research library, personal belongings (including his famous corncob pipe) and a short film that chronicles the life of the famous General of the Army.[76]

Also in downtown Norfolk and inside Nauticus is the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, an official U.S. Navy museum that focuses on the 220 plus year history of the Navy within the region.

The Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth has one of the largest collection of model electric trains and other toys.

The Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth is one of the oldest shipyards and has the first dry dock on display.

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (in Suffolk and Chesapeake) is accessed from U.S. Route 17 in Chesapeake.

The Suffolk-Nansemond Museum is in the restored Seaboard and Virginian Railway passenger train station in Suffolk.

The Isle of Wight Museum is in Smithfield.

The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia located in Virginia Beach features the significant art of our time.

The Hampton Roads region has a thriving music scene, with a heavy concentration thereof in the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk areas. Many clubs, venues, and festivals exist within the region, all playing host to a wide variety of musical styles. There are a few hundred bands that play routinely in the region, spanning multiple genres. There are also twenty to thirty musical acts based in the region that perform throughout Hampton Roads and its surrounding areas on a “full-time” basis.

In addition, plenty of well known acts have come from the area. Some of the major rock/pop artists include Bruce Hornsby, Gary “U.S.” Bonds, Juice Newton, Mae, Seven Mary Three, Gene Vincent, Keller Williams, and Steve Earle. Ella Fitzgerald is the most recognizable jazz musician from the area. Robert Cray and Ruth Brown are both prominent blues and R&B artists. Tommy Newsom is another famous jazz musician. Many prominent rap and hip hop artists come from the area including Chad Hugo, Clipse, Magoo, Missy Elliott, Nicole Wray, Pharrell Williams, Quan, Teddy Riley, and Timbaland.

The region has a number of venues hosting live music and performances. Several of the larger (in order of maximum seating capacity) are:

Dozens of much smaller commercial establishments offer live music and other entertainment such as comedy shows and mystery dinner-theater throughout the region.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden, opened in 1939, is a 155-acre (0.6km2) botanical garden and arboretum located near the Norfolk International Airport. It is open year round.[77]

The Virginia Zoological Park, opened in 1900, is a 65-acre (260,000m2) zoo with hundreds of animals on display, including the critically endangered Siberian Tiger and threatened White Rhino.[78]

First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park are both located in coastal areas in Virginia Beach. Both offer camping facilities, cabins, and outdoor recreation activities in addition to nature and history tours. First Landing is the site of Cape Henry while False Cape is located at the southeastern end of Virginia Beach.[79][80]

Newport News Park is located in the northern part of the city of Newport News. The city’s golf course also lies within the Park along with camping and outdoor activities. There are over 30 miles (48km) of trails in the Newport News Park complex. The park has a 5.3-mile (8.5-km) multi-use bike path. The park offers bicycle and helmet rental, and requires helmet use by children under 14. Newport News Park also offers an archery range, disc golf course, and an “aeromodel flying field” for remote-controlled aircraft, complete with a 400ft (120m) runway.[81]

The region also has amusement parks which attract tourists and locals alike. Ocean Breeze Waterpark, Shipwreck Golf, and Motor World are Virginia Beach’s amusement parks, which were formerly called Ocean Breeze Fun Park. As separate parks, they provide miniature golf, go-karts, water slides, pools, climbing wall, paintball area, and kiddie rides.[82][83]Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA are the major theme parks in Williamsburg.

normal seating capacity in parentheses

Hampton Roads has a number of public and private golf courses.[85]

Three daily newspapers serve Hampton Roads: The Virginian-Pilot in the Southside, the The Daily Press on the Peninsula, and the six days a week Suffolk News-Herald that serves Suffolk and Franklin.[90] Smaller publications include the Williamsburg-James City County area’s twice-weekly Virginia Gazette (the state’s oldest newspaper[91]), the New Journal and Guide, and Inside Business, the area’s only business newspaper.

Newspapers serving the Hampton Roads area include:

Coastal Virginia Magazine is one of the region’s city and lifestyle magazine. The publication is published eight times a year and covers all of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore of Virginia.[92]Coastal Virginia Magazine was formerly known as Hampton Roads Magazine.

Hampton Roads Times (web site) serves as an online magazine for the region.

Suffolk Living Magazine is another of the region’s city and lifestyle magazines. The publication is published four times a year and covers the City of Suffolk. Suffolk Publications also produces Virginia-Carolina Boomers, a regional guide for Boomers in the area, which comes out twice a year.[93]

The Hampton Roads designated market area (DMA) is the 42nd largest in the U.S. with 712,790 homes (0.64% of the total U.S.).[94] The major network television affiliates are WTKR-TV 3 (CBS), WAVY 10 (NBC), WVEC-TV 13 (ABC), WGNT 27 (CW), WTVZ 33 (MyNetworkTV), WVBT 43 (Fox), and WPXV 49 (ION Television). The Public Broadcasting Service station is WHRO-TV 15. WUND 2(UNC-TV/PBS member station), broadcasting out of Edenton, NC, serves as another PBS affiliate for the area. Area residents also can receive independent stations, such as WSKY broadcasting on channel 4 from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, WGBS-LD broadcasting on channel 11 from Hampton, and WTPC 21, a TBN affiliate out of Virginia Beach. Most Hampton Roads localities are served by Cox Cable which provides LNC 5, a local 24-hour cable news television network. Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight, and Southampton are served by Charter Communications.[95]Verizon FiOS service is currently available in parts of the region and continues to expand, offering a non-satellite alternative to Cox. DirecTV and Dish Network are also popular as an alternative to cable television.

Norfolk is served by a variety of radio stations on the FM and AM dials, with towers located around the Hampton Roads area. These cater to many different interests, including news, talk radio, and sports, as well as an eclectic mix of musical interests.[96]

Norfolk serves as home to two professional franchises, the Norfolk Tides of the International League and the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.[97][98] The Tides play at Harbor Park, seating 12,067 and opened in 1993. The Admirals play at Norfolk Scope Arena, seating 8,725 or 13,800 festival seating, which opened in 1971.

The Peninsula Pilots play in the Coastal Plain League, a summer baseball league. The Pilots play in Hampton at War Memorial Stadium seating 5,125 and opened in 1948.[99]

On the collegiate level, four Division I programstwo on the Southside and two on the Peninsulafield teams in many sports, including football, basketball, and baseball; three currently play football in the second-tier FCS, while ODU recently moved up to the FBS football. The Southside boasts the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Norfolk State Spartans, both in Norfolk, while the Peninsula features the William & Mary Tribe in Williamsburg and Hampton Pirates in Hampton. W&M is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. Norfolk State and Hampton, both historically black institutions, compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.[100][101][102][103] ODU joined Conference USA, an FBS football conference, as a full FBS member in 2015. The area also has two Division III programs, one in each subregionthe Virginia Wesleyan Marlins on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk,[104] and the Christopher Newport University Captains in Newport News. The Captains sponsor fourteen sports and currently compete in the USA South Athletic Conference,[105] but will move to the Capital Athletic Conference in July 2013.

The Hampton Coliseum, seating 10,761 to 13,800 festival seating, hosts the annual Virginia Duals wrestling events, and the annual Hampton Jazz Festival. The arena opened in 1970 and has previously hosted Hampton University basketball along with NBA and NHL preseason exhibition games.

Virginia Beach serves as home to two soccer teams, the Hampton Roads Piranhas, a men’s team in the USL Premier Development League, and a women’s team by the same name in the W-League. The Piranhas play at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. The Virginia Beach Sportsplex, seating 11,541 and opened in 1999, contains the central training site for the U.S. women’s national field hockey team.[106] The Sportsplex will be expanded to accommodate the Virginia Destroyers, an expansion franchise in the United Football League for the 2011 UFL season. The North American Sand Soccer Championships, a beach soccer tournament, is held annually on the beach in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach is also home to the East Coast Surfing Championships, an annual contest of more than 100 of the world’s top professional surfers and an estimated 400 amateur surfers. This is North America’s oldest surfing contest, and features combined cash prizes of $40,000.[107]

Langley Speedway in Hampton, seating 6,500, hosts stock car races every weekend during Spring, Summer, and early Fall.[108]

The Kingsmill Championship, an event on the LPGA Tour, is contested annually on Mother’s Day weekend at Kingsmill Resort near Williamsburg.

The Norfolk Nighthawks were a charter member of the Arena Football League’s minor league, af2. They ceased operations in 2003 after their fourth season. Also, the Virginia Beach Mariners of soccer’s USL First Division were active from 1994 until 2006.

Hampton Roads has hosted many professional wrestling events throughout the years. The Norfolk Scope has served as the site of these events, including Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s Destination X, World Championship Wrestling’s Starrcade and World War 3, and WWF/WWE’s The Great American Bash and the 2011 Slammy Awards.[109] Norfolk Scope was also the site of an infamous episode of WCW Monday Nitro, where several members of the World Wrestling Federation stable D-Generation X literally drove a tank to the entryway of the Scope, thus “invading” the competition. The Hampton Coliseum has also hosted many events, including RAW, in April 1998, August 2005, May 2007, January 2008, and July 2011, as well as SmackDown! and for ECW on Sci Fi on December 2006. In January 2008, WWE broadcast its first television show taped in high definition from Hampton, VA.

The Hampton Roads area is also home to at least one professional wrestling promotion, Vanguard Championship Wrestling, which holds events throughout the region, and has a weekly television show on the local Fox affiliate.

In 1997, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring an expansion hockey team to Hampton Roads. But that initiative failed. The team was going to be called the Hampton Roads Rhinos.

In 2002, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring the Charlotte Hornets basketball team to southeastern Virginia, but New Orleans won the bid for the team, renaming it the New Orleans Hornets.

In 2004, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring the Montreal Expos baseball team to the metro area, but Washington, D.C. won the bid for the team, renaming it the Washington Nationals.

In 1998, 2001, 2006, and 2010 Hampton Roads was hosting the AAU Junior Olympics.[110]

In 2012, there were talks of the Sacramento Kings of the NBA moving to a proposed new arena in Virginia Beach near the Oceanfront.[111]

Hampton Roads is 130 miles (210km) from the nearest major sports teams in Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, North Carolina. Another significant issue with the area as a sports market is internal transportation. The metropolitan area is split into two distinct parts by its eponymous harbor; as of 2012, the harbor has only three widely separated road crossings (the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, and James River Bridge), each with two lanes of traffic in each direction. In addition, the area has two other major tunnels, plus several drawbridges on key highway corridors.

Hampton Roads previously hosted a successful franchise in the American Basketball Association, although it was never a full-time home for that team. Its highest-ranking teams as of 2012 are the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL, the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL, and the Norfolk Tides of the IL. Virginia is also the most populous state without a major team playing within its borders, though its northern reaches are served by the Washington clubstwo of which, the NHL’s Capitals and NFL’s Redskins, have their operational headquarters and practice facilities in Virginia. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, through a separate company, owns two radio stations, WXTG and WXTG-FM, in the Norfolk market. The Hampton Roads television market is ranked 42nd in the U.S.

Articles Relating to The Hampton Roads Area

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About NSA – National Sheriffs’ Association

 NSA  Comments Off on About NSA – National Sheriffs’ Association
Aug 312015

Chartered in 1940, the National Sheriffs’ Association is a professional association dedicated to serving the Office of Sheriff and its affiliates through police education, police training, and general law enforcement information resources. NSA represents thousands of sheriffs, deputies and other law enforcement, public safety professionals, and concerned citizens nationwide.

Through the years, NSA has provided programs for Sheriffs, their deputies, chiefs of police, and others in the field of criminal justice to perform their jobs in the best possible manner and to better serve the people of their cities, counties or jurisdictions.

The National Sheriffs’ Association headquarters is located in Alexandria, Virginia and offers police training, police information, court security training, jail information and other law enforcement services to sheriffs, deputies, and others throughout the nation. NSA has worked to forge cooperative relationships with local, state, and federal criminal justice professionals across the nation to network and share information about homeland security programs and projects.

NSA serves as the center of a vast network of law enforcement information, filling requests for information daily and enabling criminal justice professionals, including police officers, sheriffs, and deputies, to locate the information and programs they need. NSA recognizes the need to seek information from the membership, particularly the sheriff and the state sheriffs’ associations, in order to meet the needs and concerns of individual NSA members. While working on the national level, NSA has continued to seek grass-roots guidance, ever striving to work with and for its members, clients, and citizens of the nation.

NSA has through the years assisted sheriffs offices, sheriffs departments and state sheriffs associations in locating and preparing applications for state and federal homeland security grant funding. The NSA record and reputation for integrity and dependability in the conduction of such public safety programs among government agencies is well recognized and has led to continuing opportunities to apply for grants on the national, state, and local levels as well as management of service contracts.

NSA’s roots can be traced back to October 1888, when a group of sheriffs in Minnesota and surrounding states formed an organization, which they named the Inter-State Sheriffs’ Association. The purpose of this association was to give opportunity for a wider, mutual acquaintance, to exchange ideas for more efficient service, and to assist on another in the apprehension of criminals.

Over the years the name was changed several times. It is assumed that as laws changed and law enforcement grew and expanded along with the country, the organization felt compelled to change its name to fit its membership and the times. When law enforcement officials in other states and Canada expressed interest in taking part in the Inter-State Sheriffs’ Association, the group subsequently changed its name to the International Sheriffs’ and Police Association. In 1908 the organization was briefly known as the National Sheriffs’ Association before its name was amended as the International Sheriffs and Peace Officers Asociation and then later to the International Sheriffs and Police Association. The organization disbanded in 1938.

The Articles of Incorporation of the new National Sheriffs’ Association were filed with the Secretary of State of the state of Ohio on September 26, 1940. Sheriff Walter O’Neil of Akron, Ohio was NSA’s first president and held the first annual meeting in 1941 in St. Louis, Missouri. At this meeting a constitution was adopted and the organization’s goals, policies, and objectives were agreed upon. NSA began publishing its periodical, The National Sheriff magazine, in February of the same year. NSA’s first executive secretary (executive director) was Charles J. Hahn. It is believed that Hahn and the officials of the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association of Ohio set about to form a national association for sheriffs.

The National Sheriffs’ Association today is headquarted in Alexandria, VA and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice and public safety so that they may perform their jobs in the best possible manner and better serve the people of their cities, counties or jurisdictions.

For more on the history of NSA, consider ordering a copy of our 75th Anniversary Commemorative book. Click here to order today.

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About NSA – National Sheriffs’ Association

5 Best Countries for Offshore Banking – Activist Post

 Offshore Banking  Comments Off on 5 Best Countries for Offshore Banking – Activist Post
Aug 302015

Activist Post

When we hear the term offshore banking, it often conjures up images of the overly-wealthy elite or sly, nefarious criminals hiding away millions of dollars from prying government eyes. But the way offshore banking is portrayed in the movies is not the reality.

Opening an account offshore is not illegal, as many people wrongly believe. In fact, many offshore financial institutions are considered safer than many domestic banks. Most foreign banks offer absolute privacy guarantees, as well as security to protect your assets.

Banks in the United States are limited in the amount of the interest they can pay to customers. Many offshore institutions are able to offer higher interest rates to their clients. In many US and European banks, the governments have too much control, to the detriment of the countries citizens. Because of this, the government can step in to freeze your bank accounts and assets indefinitely.

Some countries are a better choice for offshore banking than others. Here are the top five countries to consider if you want to put a portion of your money into a foreign account and what you need to open one.


Dubai has a premium banking sector that serves local, expatriate and offshore clients. It is said that the privacy policy for Dubai banks is even better than that of Swiss banks. There are also no taxes in this country. To open an account, you will first need to find what the minimum balance is for each bank. You will need to provide a copy of your passport, a visit visa, proof of address, bank card from your country of residence and maybe a letter of recommendation from a UAE resident.


When you open an account in Singapore, you are investing in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, while at the same time protecting your money and saving on taxes. This country has the lowest tax rate in Asia. The typical minimum required balance is $1,000. You need to have your passport, proof of address, and maybe even your taxpayer number (SSN) for your country of residence. Accounts can be held in any currency, even gold.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a strong banking infrastructure. Banks do not require formal approval from the government for opening accounts. The minimum balance is $3,000. To open an account, you will need your passport, proof of address, and possibly a reference letter from a banker. Sovereign savings accounts in Hong Kong can also be held in any currency including gold.


Swiss banks are best known for their strict privacy policies. Since 1934, laws prevent bankers from divulging any client account information. Only recently have US law enforcement officers been permitted to get information in the course of a criminal investigation (including tax evasion). Some accounts may be opened with as little as $3,500. You need to have a passport, recent utility bill to establish residency, residence permit to set up an account.

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands have no direct taxation. The minimum balance is usually $5,000 to open an account. You will need a letter of reference from your home banker and deposits cannot be made with cash, but with check, wire transfer or bank draft. You need proof of identity and a notarized copy of your passport, character reference and any additional documents requested by the bank.

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5 Best Countries for Offshore Banking – Activist Post

7th Circuit Court: Illegal Immigrants Have Second …

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on 7th Circuit Court: Illegal Immigrants Have Second …
Aug 292015

In a wordillegal immigrants have Second Amendment rights too.

The case was titled United States v. Meza-Rodriguez, and the decision was handed down on August 20.

The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that the decision was written by Judge Diane Wood for a panel that included Judges Frank Easterbrook and Joel Flaum.

As for the background to the case, Wood explained that Mariano Meza-Rodriguez, a citizen of Mexico, was arrested in August 2013 [and found to be] carrying a .22 caliber cartridge. Because he did not have documentation to show that he was in the United States lawfully, he was charged as being in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5), which forbids illegal immigrants from possessing firearms in the United States.

Meza-Rodriquez was indicted. He then challenged the indictment by claiming 922(g)(5) impermissibly infringed on his rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin rejected Meza-Rodriquezs claim, thereby upholding the indictment. He appealed the District Courts decision, thus bringing the case to the 7th Circuit.

In working through the case, Wood indicated that certain aspects of the language inDistrict of Columbia v. Heller (2008) support the view that all people, including non-U.S. citizens, whether or not they are authorized to be in the country, enjoy at least some rights under the Second Amendment.

She elaborated:

In a post-Heller world, where it is now clear that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is no second-class entitlement, we see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded.No language in the Amendment supports such a conclusion, nor, as we have said, does a broader consideration of the Bill of Rights.

Yet the 7th Circuit upheld the District Courts rulingwhich upheld Meza-Rodriguezs indictmenton the grounds that the Second Amendment does not preclude certain restrictions on the right to bear arms, including the one imposed by 922(g)(5).

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at

7th Circuit Court: Illegal Immigrants Have Second …

Tulsa Seo Web Design Search Engine Optimization Tulsa

 SEO  Comments Off on Tulsa Seo Web Design Search Engine Optimization Tulsa
Aug 252015

SEO Tulsa is ranked number one by Google for keywords such as Tulsa Search Engine Optimization and Tulsa SEO and theres a reason for that. We are extremely good in our profession. Do you want your website to rank high on search engines such as Yahoo, Google and Bing? The fact is that a website is of no good if your existing clients or prospective clients cannot find it on the World Wide Web. We can help you optimize your site so that it appears in the top results of search engines. This process of reaching for the top of search engine results is known as search engine optimization (SEO for short). SEO plays an important part in directing potential clients to your website. Some additional tactics we utilize to achieve the greatest possible results in a relatively short time period include: online reputation management, social media marketing, and the creation of e-newsletters, press releases as well as other high-quality marketing content.

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As soon as your site has been optimized for the international market, it will appear in the search results when a prospective client searches for the kind of products that you provide without indicating a particular location. Bear in mind that your site will be competing with millions of other websites in different parts of the world, and not merely with businesses or websites that are within your locality. This is where international search engine optimization services can help you achieve competitive edge. You can even compete with corporate giants such as Coca-cola and Nike.

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Tulsa Seo Web Design Search Engine Optimization Tulsa

The Order of the Illuminati: Its Origins, Its Methods and Its …

 Illuminati  Comments Off on The Order of the Illuminati: Its Origins, Its Methods and Its …
Aug 232015

The Order of the Illuminati is often at the center of debates about the impact of secret societies on human history. Is the Illuminati a myth or does it truly secretly rule the world? As the number of people asking that question has grown, facts about the Order have become diluted with misconceptions and disinformation, making objective research on the subject difficult. This article attempts to shed some factual light on the Order of the Illuminati by reviewing some of the most important documents on the subject.

The world Illuminati is thrown around rather freely to describe the elite group that is secretly running the world. Most have a general idea of the meaning of the term, but are confused about the concepts and the ideas relating to it. Is the Illuminati the same thing as Freemasonry? What are their goals? What are their beliefs? Why do they act in secret? Do they practice occultism? Attempting to objectively research the subject can become an arduous task as most sources end up being either dismissive disinformation pieces that deny (and even ridicule) anything related to the Illuminati or, at the other end of the spectrum, espouse ill-informed fear mongering based on rumors and misconceptions. In both cases, the researcher ends up with the same result: a distorted version of the truth.

Considering that Secret Societies are supposed to be, by definition, secret, and that history is often rewritten by those in power, obtaining the unbiased truth about the Illuminati is a challenge. This article does not claim to reveal or expose everything that is to be known about the Illuminati; it rather attempts draw a more precise picture of the Order by citing authors who have extensively studied the subject. Whether they are, at the end of the day, critics or apologists of the Illuminati, these authors base their thoughts on credible facts. Some of the most interesting documents on the Illuminati were written by initiates of Secret Societies as they understood the philosophical and spiritual undercurrent driving the movement forward. Using these works, we will look at the origins, the methods and the impacts of the Illuminati on world history.

Although several groups called themselves Illuminati in the past, the most influential and memorable of them was the Bavarian Illuminati. Founded on May 1, 1776, the organization created by Adam Weishaupt blurred the line between spiritual and political Secret Societies. By mixing the occult sciences of Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism while conspiring to achieve precise political goals, the Illuminati became an actor on the world stage. While most Secret Societies of the time catered to rich people and their fascination with occultism, the Bavarian Illuminati actively sought to profoundly change the world.

Secret Societies have existed throughout the course of history, each of them with different aims and with different roles in society. While the Egyptian mystery schools were part of the Egyptian institution, other groups were secret due to their subversive and conspiratorial aims. These two next quotes, written by two famous political figures, describe these opposing views on Secret Societies:

A mystical Fraternity, who, in an earlier age, boasted of secrets of which the Philosophers Stone was but the least; who considered themselves the heirs of all that the Chaldeans, the Magi, the Gymnosophists, and the Platonists had taught; and who differed from all the darker Sons of Magic in the virtue of their lives, the purity of their doctrines, and their insisting, as the foundation of all wisdom, on the subjugation of the sense, and the intensity of Religious Faith? Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, 1884 [1. Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Zanoni]

The governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other governments, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments plans. British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, 1876

These quotes describe different realms of influence of Secret Societies. The first one refers to the spiritual side while the second describes the political side. Not all Secret Societies dwell in the spiritual and not all of them get involved in political machinations. The Bavarian Illuminati operated in both realms.

Spiritual brotherhoods are pledged to Wisdom and guiding humanity towards the realm of the Infinite; Political brotherhoods [are comprised]of power-seekers who cloak their manipulative agenda in darkness. ()

All secret societies share certain fundamental themes. Membership is restricted to those who have an abiding interest in the subject. Thus, a spiritual group will attract people seeking more knowledge of a particular teacher or type of practice. The student is aware of the subject matter in advance and will approach the group for further instruction. More rarely, an individual may be tapped by the group because of a perceived affinity to its purpose.

In a political secret society, membership is restricted to those who share an ideological affinity with the goals the group represents. At the furthest end of the political spectrum, the mission will be revolution. Such a society will go to great lengths to defend itself. ()

The Illuminati are perceived by many as spanning the chasm between the spiritual and the political secret society. Often credited (or blamed) for influencing the French Revolution in 1787, the Illuminati taught a doctrine of social and political liberation that hinged on the equality of man, the embrace of rationalism, and the denial of crown and church as the legitimate institutions for the regulation of social and moral values. () While the views of the Illuminati may sound quite advanced for the time, the European revolutions they are believed to have encouraged degenerated into brutal bloodbaths whose singular lack of moral compass was appalling. [2. James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions]

While some believe that Adam Weishaupt was the sole mastermind of the Illuminati and that his organization rose to glory and died in less than twelve years, most researchers initiated in occultism believe that the Bavarian Illuminati was the rare appearance of an ancient Brotherhood that could be traced back to the Knight Templars of the Middle-Ages.

Manly P. Hall, a 33rd Degree Freemason and prolific author, described in his pamphlet Masonic Orders of Fraternity an Invisible Empire that has been silently working for centuries towards social change. It periodically became visible throughout History, through different organizations who bore different names. According to him, these groups have a great yet silent impact on society, even transforming the educational system to form future generations.

The direct descent of the essential program of the Esoteric Schools was entrusted to groups already well-conditioned for the work. The guilds, trade unions, and similar protective and benevolent Societies had been internally strengthened by the introduction of a new learning. The advancement of the plan required the enlargement of the boundaries of the philosophic overstate. A World Fraternity was needed, sustained by a deep and broad program of education according to the method. Such a Fraternity could not immediately include all men, but it could unite the activities of certain kinds of men, regardless of their racial or religious beliefs or the nations in which they dwelt. These were the men of towardness, those sons of tomorrow, whose symbol was a blazing sun rising over the mountains of the east. ()

It was inevitable that the Orders of Fraternity should sponsor world education. () The program included a systematic expansion of existing institutions and the enlargement of their spheres of influence.

Slowly, the Orders of Universal Reformation faded from public attention, and in their places appeared the Orders of World Brotherhood. Everything possible was done to prevent the transitions from being obvious. Even history was falsified to make certain sequences of activity unrecognizable. The shift of emphasis never gave the impression of abruptness, and the motion appeared as a dawning of social consciousness. The most obvious clues to the secret activity have been the prevailing silence about the origin and the impossibility of filing the lacunae in the records of seventeenth- and eighteenth- century fraternal Orders. ()

The Orders of Fraternity were attached by slender and almost invisible threads to the parent project. Like earlier Schools of the Mysteries, these Fraternities were not in themselves actual embodiments of the esoteric associations, but rather instruments to advance certain objectives of the divine plan. [3. Manly P. Hall, Masonic Orders of Fraternity]

Here, Hall mentions a silence and lack of information regarding the workings of Secret Societies during the 17th and 18th century, the epoch during which the Bavarian Illuminati was active. It is during this time period that Secret Societies took action, causing revolutions, overthrowing Monarchical and Papal powers and taking hold of the banking system. Was the Bavarian Illuminati part of the Invisible Empire described by Hall? Is it still active today? Lets first look at Adam Weishaupt and his infamous Secret Society.

Adam Weishaupt was born in Ingolstadt, Bavaria on February 6, 1748. His father died when he was seven and his godfather, Baron Ickstatt, entrusted his early education to the most powerful group of the time: the Jesuits. Known for its subversive methods and conspiratorial tendencies, the Society of Jesus had a stronghold on Bavarias politics and educational system.

The degree of power to which the representatives of the Society of Jesus had been able to attain in Bavaria was all but absolute. Members of the order were the confessors and preceptors of the electors; hence they had a direct influence upon the policies of government. The censorship of religion had fallen into their eager hands, to the extent that some of the parishes even were compelled to recognize their authority and power. To exterminate all Protestant influence and to render the Catholic establishment complete, they had taken possession of the instruments of public education. It was by Jesuits that the majority of the Bavarian colleges were founded, and by them they were controlled. By them also the secondary schools of the country were conducted. [4. Vernon L. Stauffer, The European Illuminati]

The inner-workings of the Society of Jesus was quite similar to the occult Brotherhoods it was apparently working against. It functioned with degrees, initiation rites, elaborate rituals and esoteric symbols and had been suppressed countless times in several countries due to its subversive tendencies.

In 1773, Weishaupts godfather used his great influence at the University of Ingolstadt to place his godson as chair of canon law. At that time, the institution was under heavy Jesuitical dominance and that particular position was traditionally held by influential Jesuits. Weishaupts growing embrace of Age of Enlightenment philosophies placed him at odds with the Jesuits and all kinds of political drama ensued. Despite this fact, Weishaupt learned a lot from the Jesuits organization and their subversive methods to obtain power. It is during this time that the idea of a Secret Soceity began to enter Weishaupts thoughts.

Brilliant, and well trained in the conspiratorial methods of access to power, young Weishaupt decided to organize a body of conspirators, determined to free the world from the Jesuitical rule of Rome. [5. Peter Tomkins, The Magic of Obelisks]

While some authors believe that the Jesuits (who were suppressed by papal bull in 1773) used Weishaupt to perpetuate their rule, others state that he was seeking to overthrow their powerful hold on Bavarian. On a wider scale, he was convinced that the world would profit from the overthrow of all governmental and religious institutions in the world to replace them by a world-wide, yet secretive, committee of initiates. To acheive his aims, he would use Jesuit methods against the Jesuits.

As Weishaupt pursued his studies, he also became knowledgeable in occult mysteries and Hermetism. He recognized the attractive power of this mysterious knowledge and understood that Masonic lodges would be the ideal venue to propagate his views. He therefore sought to become a Freemason, but was quickly disenchanted with the idea.

His imagination having taken heat from his reflections upon the attractive power of the Eleusinian mysteries and the influence exerted by the secret cult of the Pythagoreans, it was first in Weishaupts thought to seek in the Masonic institutions of the day the opportunity he coveted for the propagation of his views. From this, original intention, however, he was soon diverted, in part because of the difficulty he experienced in commanding sufficient funds to gain admission to a lodge of Masons, in part because his study of such Masonic books as came into his hands persuaded him that the mysteries of Freemasonry were too puerile and too readily accessible to the general public to make them worthwhile. [6. Stauffer, Op. Cit.]

Weishaupt soon realized that, to achieve his aims, it would be necessary for him to create his own secretive group, composed of powerful individuals who would embrace his views and help him propagate them.

He deemed it necessary, therefore, to launch out on independent lines. He would form a model secret organization, comprising schools of wisdom, concealed from the gaze of the world behind walls of seclusion and mystery, wherein those truths which the folly and egotism of the priests banned from the public chairs of education might be taught with perfect freedom to susceptible youths. [7. Ibid.]

The goal of Weishaupts organization was simple yet monumental: to overthrow all political and religious institutions in order to replace it with a group of Illuminati initiates. According to him universal happiness complete and rapid could be achieved by disposing of hierarchy, rank and riches. Princes and nations will disappear without violence from the earth; the human race will become one family; the world will be the abode of reasonable men. On May 1, 1776, the Order of the Illuminati was founded.

Weishaupts Illuminati began humbly with only five members, but after a few years and with powerful connections, the Order became a major political force across the world. Influential deciders, rich industrials, powerful noblemen and mysterious occultists joined the Order and participated in its conspiratorial objectives. Some historians claim that the Orders quick rise to success was due to a secret meeting between Weishaupt and a mysterious figure named Cagliostro, the most powerful occultist of the time.

In Ingolsstadt, Cagliostro is believed to have met Adam Weishaupt, professor of philosophy and canon law at the university, who in 1776, had founded the sect of Illuminati. Calling themselves heirs to the Knights Templar, they declared their interest in using celestial intervention as achieved by Cagliostro for the furtherance of a program of worldwide religious reform, but one more radical than Cagliostros, committed to avenging the death of the Templars Grand Master Molay by reducing to dust the triple crown of the popes and disposing of the last of the Capet Kings.

Cagliostro obliged, and described in prophetic detail the decapitation of Louis XVI, an event hardly to be envisaged at that time as anything but improbable. [8. Tompkins, op. cit.]

The Bavarian Illuminati was originally comprised of three primary grades: Novice, Minerval and Illuminated Minerval. Each grade was designed to achieve particular objectives while assuring complete control and dominance to the apex of the pyramid. Heres a brief look at each grade.

Entry-level members of the Bavarian Illuminati were attracted and introduced to the Order using attractive vocabulary (the quest for wisdom and betterment) and occult lore. They were however introduced to a highly monitored and controlling hierarchy, one that resembles the system of the Jesuits. There was no mention of the Orders political aims.

Once enrolled, the instruction of each Novice was to be in the hands of his enroller, who kept well hidden from his pupil the identity of the rest of his superiors. Such statutes of the order as he was permitted to read impressed upon the mind of the Novice that the particular ends sought in his novitiate were to ameliorate and perfect his moral character, expand his principles of humanity and sociability, and solicit his interest in the laudable objects of thwarting the schemes of evil men, assisting oppressed virtue, and helping men of merit to find suitable places in the world. Having had impressed upon him the necessity of maintaining inviolable secrecy respecting the affairs of the order, the further duties of subordinating his egoistic views and interests and of according respectful and complete obedience to his superiors were next enjoined. An important part of the responsibility of the Novice consisted in the drawing-up of a detailed report (for the archives of the order), containing complete, information concerning his family and his personal career, covering such remote items as the titles of the books he possessed, the names of his personal enemies and the occasion of their enmity, his own strong and weak points of character, the dominant passions of his parents, the names of their parents and intimates, etc. Monthly reports were also required, covering the benefits the recruit had received from and the services he had rendered to the order. For the building-up of the order the Novice must undertake his share in the work of recruitment, his personal advancement to the higher grades being conditioned upon the success of such efforts. To those whom he enrolled he became in turn a superior; and thus after a novitiate presumably two years in length, the way was open for his promotion to the next higher grade. [9. Stauffer, op. cit.]

When a Novice proved to his superiors to be worthy of advancement, he was initiated to the grade of Minerval.

Minerval seals of the Bavarian Illuminati. These pendants, worn around the necks of Minerval initiates, featured the Owl of Minerva . Also known as the Owl of Wisdom, this symbol is still found today in powerful places: around the White House, hidden on the dollar bill or on the insignia of the Bohemian Club.

The term Minerval is derived from Minerva who was the Roman goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic, and the music. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl, which symbolizes her ties to wisdom. An ancient symbol of the mysteries, Minerva is prominently featured in places such as the Library of Congress and the Great Seal of California.

The second grade of the Illuminati was one of indoctrination. The initiates were lectured on the spiritual principles of the Order but had little information regarding the true aims of Weishaupt and his close circle of administrators.

The ceremony of initiation through which the Novice passed into the grade Minerval was expected to disabuse the mind of the candidate of any lingering suspicion that the order had as its supreme object the subjugation of the rich and powerful, or the, overthrow of civil and ecclesiastical government. It also pledged the candidate to be useful to humanity; to maintain a silence eternal, a fidelity inviolable, and an obedience implicit with respect to all the superiors and rules of the order; and to sacrifice all personal interests to those of the society. [10. Ibid.]

Minervals were permitted to meet some of their superiors (Illuminated Minervals) and to engage in discussions with them. This privilege alone was a great source of motivation for the new initiates.

Selected from among the Minerval, the Illuminated Minerval were given specific tasks to accomplish in order to prepare them to take action in the real world. Most of their work consisted in the study of mankind and the perfection of methods to direct it. Each Illuminated Minerval was entrusted with a small group of Minervals who were scrutinized, analyzed and lead towards specific directions. Lower-grade members of the Order therefore became test subjects for techniques that might be applied to the masses in general.

To the grade Illuminated Minerval were admitted those Minervals who in the judgment of their superiors were worthy of advancement. Elaborate initiatory ceremonies fixed in the candidates mind the notions that the progressive purification of his life was to be expected as he worked his way upward in the order, and that the mastery of the art of directing men was to be his special pursuit as long as he remained in the new grade. To accomplish the latter, i.e., to become an expert psychologist and director of mens consciences, he must observe and study constantly the actions, purposes, desires, faults, and virtues of the little group of Minervals who were placed under his personal direction and care. For his guidance in this difficult task a complicated mass of instructions was furnished him.

In addition to their continued presence in the assemblies of the Minervals, the members of this grade came together once a month by themselves, to hear reports concerning their disciples, to discuss methods of accomplishing the best results in their work of direction and to solicit each others counsel in difficult and embarrassing cases. In these meetings the records of the assemblies of the Minervals were reviewed and rectified and afterwards transmitted to the superior officers of the order. [11. Ibid.]

From this basic structure, the Illuminati began its expansion. Everything was in place for Weishaupt to achieve an important goal: the infiltration of Freemasonry.

In 1777, the year following the creation of the Illuminati, Weishaupt joined the Masonic lodge of Theodore of Good Counsel in Munich. Not only did he successfully propagate his views into the lodge, he also managed to get the lodge to bevirtually absorbed into the Illuminist order almost immediately. [12. Hall, op. cit.]

A definite alliance between the Illuminati and Freemasonry became possible in 1780 when a prominent figure by the name of Baron Adolf Franz Friederich Knigge was initiated into Weishaupts Order. The German diplomats Masonic connections and organizational skills were promptly put to use by the Order. Knigge would go on to accomplish two important tasks for the Illuminati: He revised the hierarchy of the Order, created new higher grades and allowed the full integration of Masonic lodges into the system.

Two weighty consequences promptly followed as the result of Kinigges advent into the order. The long-sought higher grades were worked out, and an alliance between the Illuminati and Freemasonry was effected. [13. Ibid.]

Knigge, an influential North German diplomat and occultist joined the Illuminati in 1780. He is here shown displaying the sign of the Hidden Hand (see the article entitled The Hidden Hand that Shaped the World on the Vigilant Citizen).

Knigges influence upon the Order was profound and immediate. The new system he devised attracted Freemasons and other powerful figures, which gave the movement great momentum. Heres the system devised by Knigge:

Knigges kept the Orders original grades untouched but added new grades above them. The second level of the Illuminati incorporated the grades of Freemasonry making therefore the Brotherhood simply a part of the wider Illuminist superstructure.

The grade Novice (a part of the system only in a preparatory sense) was left unchanged by Knigge, save for the addition of a printed communication to be put into the hands of all new recruits, advising them that the Order of the Illuminati stands over against all other forms of contemporary Freemasonry as the one type not degenerate, and as such alone able to restore the craft to its ancient splendor. ()

The three symbolic grades of the second class seem to have been devised solely for the purpose of supplying an avenue whereby members of the various branches of the great Masonic family could pass to the higher grades of the new order. [14. Ibid.]

The highest grades of the Order were restricted to a select few and included powerful individuals and influential figures. The grade of Prince held within its ranks National Inspectors, Provincials, Prefects and Deans of the Priests. At the top of the pyramid were the Magus (also known as Areopagites), which comprised the supreme heads of the Order. Their identities were safely guarded and are still difficult to confirm today.

Knigges strategy gave impressive results and allowed the Illuminati to become an extremely powerful movement.

The new method of spreading Illuminism by means of its affiliation with Masonic lodges promptly demonstrated its worth. Largely because of the fine strategy of seeking its recruits among the officers and other influential personages in the lodges of Freemasonry, one after another of the latter in quick succession went over to the new system. New prefectures were established, new provinces organized, and Provincials began to report a steady and copious stream of new recruits. () Students, merchants, doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, judges, professors in gymnasia and universities, preceptors, civil officers, pastors, priests all were generously represented among the new recruits. Distinguished names soon appeared upon the rosters of the lodges of the new system. Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick, Duke Ernst of Gotha, Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar, Prince August of Saxe-Gotha, Prince Carl of Hesse, Baron Dalberg, the philosopher Herder, the poet Goethe, the educationist Pestalozzi, were among the number enrolled, By the end of 1784 the leaders boasted of a total enrollment of between two and three thousand members 106. and the establishment of the order upon a solid foundation seemed to be fully assured. [15. Ibid.]

Weishaup, however, did not enjoy his Orders success for long. Suspicions of Illuminati conspiracy against governments and religious arose across Europe. Seeing a credible threat against its power, the Bavarian government launched an edict outlawing all communities, societies and brotherhoods that existed without due authorization of the law. Furthermore, internal disagreements between Weishaupt and the higher ups of his Order lead to disputes and dissension. In the midst of it all, some members went directly to the authorities and testified against the Order, an opportunity that was not missed by the Bavarian government.

Out of the mouths of its friends, the accusations which its enemies made against the order were to be substantiated. By the admissions of its leaders, the system of the Illuminati had the appearance of an organization devoted to the overthrow of religion and the state, a band of poisoners and forgers, an association of men of disgusting morals and depraved tastes. [16. Ibid.]

By 1788, through the use of aggressive legislation and criminal charges, the Bavarian Illuminati was apparently dissipated and destroyed by the government. While some see here the conclusion of the story of the Illuminati, one must not forget that the tentacles of Illuminism had the time to spread way beyond to confines of Bavaria to reach Masonic lodges across Europe. In other words, the Illuminati was never destroyed, it simply went underground. A year later, an important event would prove that Illuminism was more alive and potent then ever: the French Revolution.

The violent overthrow of the French Monarchy in 1789 symbolizes to many the victory of Jacobinism and Illuminism over the traditional institutions of the time. The adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights officially recorded Masonic and Illuminist values into the core of the French government. The countrys new motto Libert, galit et Fraternit (Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood) was said to be a famous Masonic saying that was used in French lodges for centuries.

The official document of the Declaration of Human Rights contains several occult symbols referring to Secret Societies. First, the symbol of the All Seeing Eye within a triangle, surrounded by the light of the blazing star Sirius, is found above everything else (this symbol is also found on the Great Seal of the United States). Underneath the title is depicted an Ouroboros (a serpent eating its own tail), an esoteric symbol associated with Alchemy, Gnosticism and Hermetism, the core teachings of Masonry. Right underneath the Ouroboros is a red phrygian cap, a symbol representing Illuminist revolutions across the world. The entire Declaration is guarded by Masonic pillars.

If though Bavarian Illuminati was said to be dead, the ideas it promoted still became a reality. The Freemasons and Rosicrucians were still thriving, and the Illuminati appeared to be living through them. Europe was undergoing profound turmoil as a new class of people took the helms of power. Critics began to emerge, revealing to the masses the secret forces behind the changes they were witnessing.

Leopold Hoffman, a Freemason who was convinced that the Illuminati corrupted his Brotherhood, published a series of articles in his journal entitled Wiener Zeitschrift. He claimed that the lower grades of the Illuminati had been dissolved, but the highest degrees were still active. He also added that Freemasonry was being subjugated by Illuminism and transformed to serve its ends. He also stated that the French Revolution was the result of years of Illuminist propaganda.

In 1797, John Robinson, a Scottish physician, mathematician and inventor (he invented the siren) published a book entitled Proofs of a Conspiracy against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, carried on in the Secret Meetings of the Free Masons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies. This devout Freemason became disenchanted when he realized that his brotherhood had been infiltrated by the Illuminati. Heres an excerpt of his book:

I have found that the covert of a Mason Lodge had been employed in every country for venting and propagating sentiments in religion and politics, that could not have circulated in public without exposing the author to great danger. I found, that this impunity had gradually encouraged men of licentious principles to become more bold, and to teach doctrines subversive of all our notions of moralityof all our confidence in the moral government of the universeof all our hopes of improvement in a future state of existenceand of all satisfaction and contentment with our present life, so long as we live in a state of civil subordination. I have been able to trace these attempts, made, through a course of fifty years, under the specious pretext of enlightening the world by the torch of philosophy, and of dispelling the clouds of civil and religious superstition which keep the nations of Europe in darkness and slavery.

I have observed these doctrines gradually diffusing and mixing with all the different systems of Free Masonry; till, at last, AN ASSOCIATION HAS BEEN FORMED for the express purpose of ROOTING OUT ALL THE RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OVERTURNING ALL THE EXISTING GOVERNMENTS OF EUROPE. I have seen this Association exerting itself zealously and systematically, till it has become almost irresistible: And I have seen that the most active leaders in the French Revolution were members of this Association, and conducted their first movements according to its principles, and by means of its instructions and assistance, formally requested and obtained: And, lastly, I have seen that this Association still exists, still works in secret, and that not only several appearances among ourselves show that its emissaries are endeavouring to propagate their detestable doctrines, but that the Association has Lodges in Britain corresponding with the mother Lodge at Munich ever since 1784. . . The Association of which I have been- speaking is the order of ILLUMINATI, founded, in 1775 [sic], by Dr. Adam Weishaupt, professor of Canon-law in the University of Ingolstadt, and abolished in 1786 by the Elector of Bavaria, but revived immediately after, under another name, and in a different form, all over Germany. It was again detected, and seemingly broken up; but it had by this time taken so deep root that it still subsists without being detected, and has spread into all the countries of Europe [17. John Robinson, Proofs of a Conspiracy]

Augustin Barrel, a French Jesuit priest also published in 1797 a book linking the French Revolution to the Bavarian Illuminati. In Mmoires pour servir lhistoire du Jacobisime, he traced back the slogan Liberty and Equality back to the early Templars and claimed that, in the higher degrees of the order, liberty and equality is explained not only by war against kings and thrones but by war against Christ and his altars. He also provided details pertaining to the Illuminist take-over of Freemasonry.

Barruel charged that not only the lower order of Masonry were duped by Weishaupt, but also those of Weishaupts own Illuminati, for whom he had provided another top-secret level of direction known as the Aeopagus, a withdrawn circle of directors of the whole order, who alone knew its secret aims. To Barruel, such revolutionary leaders as La Rochefoucauld, Lafayette, and the duc dOrlans, had become Illuminati agents and dupes of more extreme radicals such as Danton, provocateurs who sparked the Illuminati-directed rebellion. Barruel further charged that the entire French Masonic establishment had been converted to Weishaupts revolutionary ideas, its lodges turned into secret committees which planned bloodshed. [18. Tompkins, op. cit.]

Most of Americas Founding Fathers were part of Secret Societies, whether the Freemasons, the Rosicrucians or others. Some of them travelled to Europe and were well versed in the doctrines of the Illuminati.

From 1776 to 1785 when the Bavarian Illuminati was openly active Benjamin Franklin was in Paris serving as the ambassador of the United States to France. During his stay, he became Grand Master of the lodge Les Neufs Soeurs which was attached with the Grand Orient of France. This Masonic organization was said to have become the French headquarters of the Bavarian Illuminati. It was particularly influential in organizing of the French support for the American Revolution and was later part of the process towards the French Revolution.

In 1799, when German minister G.W. Snyder warned George Washington of the Illuminati plan to overthrow all governments and religion, Washington replied that he had heard much of the nefarious and dangerous plan and doctrines of the Illuminati. He however concluded his letter by stating: I believe notwithstanding, that none of the Lodges in this country are contaminated with the principles ascribed to the society of Illuminati.

In another letter to Snyder, written a month later, Washington continued on the topic:

It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am.

The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of separation). That Individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a separation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned.

Part of the original letter written by George Washington regarding the Illuminati

Judging by this letter, George Washington was obviously well aware of the doctrines of the Illuminati And even if he did not believe that the Masonic institutions of the United States propagated its doctrines, he concedes that individuals might have undertaken that endeavour. After the Bavarian Illuminati

Today, the term Illuminati is used to loosely describe the small group of powerful individuals who are working towards the creation of a World Government, with the issue of a single world currency and a single world religion. Although it is difficult to determine if this group descends directly from the original Bavarian Illuminati or that it even uses the term Illuminati, its tenets and methods are in perfect continuation of it. As stated above, the name that is used to describe the occult elite can change. And, ultimately, the name is irrelevant; what needs to be recognized is the underlying current that has existed for centuries.

According the Manly. P Hall, the Bavarian Illuminati was part of what he calls the Universal Brotherhood, an invisible Order at the source of most Hermetic Secret Societies of the past. It has worked for centuries towards the transformation of mankind, guiding it through a worldwide alchemical process. The same way the alchemical Great Work seeks to turn crude metals into gold, it claims to work towards a similar metamorphosis of the world. According to Hall, the Universal Brotherhood sometimes makes itself visible, but under the guise of different names and symbols. This would mean that the Knights Templars, Freemasons, Rosicrucians, and Illuminati are temporary visible manifestations of an underlying force that is infinitely more profound and more powerful. However, human beings being what they are weak toward greed and power-lust these movements often become corrupted and end up conspiring against the masses for more power and material gain.

Certainly there was an undercurrent of things esoteric, in the most mystical sense of the word, beneath the surface of Illuminism. In this respect, the Order followed exactly in the footsteps of the Knights Templars. The Templars returned to Europe after the Crusades, bringing with them a number of choice fragments of Oriental occult lore, some of which they had gathered from the Druses of Lebanon, and some from the disciples of Hasan Ibn-al-Sabbah, the old wizard of Mount Alamut.

If there was a deep mystical current flowing beneath the surface of Illuminism, it is certain that Weishaupt was not the Castalian Spring. Perhaps the lilies of the Illuminati and the roses of the Rosicrucians were, by a miracle of Nature, flowing from the same stem. The old symbolism would suggest this, and it is not always wise to ignore ancient landmarks. There is only one explanation that meets the obvious and natural requirements of the known facts. The Illuminati were part of an esoteric tradition which had descended from remote antiquity and had revealed itself for a short time among the Humanists of Ingolstadt. One of the blossoms of the sky plant was there, but the roots were afar in better ground. [19. Hall, op. cit.]

Hall concludes that the Illuminati existed long before the advent of Weishaupts Order and that it still exists today. It was under the guise of defeat and destruction that the Illuminati realized its greatest victories.

Weishaupt emerged as a faithful servant of a higher cause. Behind him moved the intricate machinery of the Secret School. As usual, they did not trust their full weight to any perishable institution. The physical history of the Bavarian Illuminati extended over a period of only twelve years. It is difficult to understand, therefore, the profound stir which this movement caused in the political life of Europe. We are forced to the realization that this Bavarian group was only one fragment of a large and composite design.

All efforts to discover the members of the higher grades of the Illuminist Order have been unsuccessful. It has been customary, therefore, to assume that these higher grades did not exist except in the minds of Weishaupt and von Knigge. Is it not equally possible that a powerful group of men, resolved to remain entirely unknown, moved behind Weishaupt and pushed him forward as a screen for its own activities?

The ideals of Illuminism, as they are found in the pagan Mysteries of antiquity, were old when Weishaupt was born, and it is unlikely that these long-cherished convictions perished with his Bavarian experiment. The work that was unfinished in 1785 remains unfinished in 1950. Esoteric Orders will not become extinct until the purpose which brought them into being has been fulfilled. Organizations may perish, but the Great School is indestructible. [20. Ibid.]

The Great Seal of the United States features the unfinished Great Pyramid of Giza, a symbol of the unfinished work of the Esoteric Orders: a New World Order. The Seal was adopted on the American dollar by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a 32nd Degree Freemason and a Knight of Pythias with ties Manly P. Hall.

If the Illuminist Agenda is still alive today, what form does it take? From the esoteric and spiritual point of view, some modern Secret Societies such as the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis) have claimed to be the heirs of Illuminism. Other researchers stated that there exists hidden Orders above the 33 visible degrees of Freemasonry that form the Illuminati. As they are, by definition, secret, obtaining details about these Orders is quite difficult.

The political side of modern Illluminism is a lot more visible and its plans are obvious. An increasingly restrictive and concentrated group is being entrusted with the creation of important decisions and policies. International committees and organizations, acting above elected officials are today creating social and economic policies that are applied on a global level. This phenomenon is rather new in world history as a rather than kingdoms or nation-states, a non-elected shadow government, composed of the worlds elite, is gradually becoming the center of world power.

On another political plane are ideological groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations, or participants in the World Economic Forum. Here we find leaders in politics, business, finance, education, and the media who share a belief in the value of global solutions; are in position of high authority and influence; and represent different levels of involvement with the inner circle of the group. Most members simply welcome the opportunity to associate with other well-known luminaries and are honored by being offered membership or attendance privileges. Yet, the ideology at the highest levels of such groups supports a world government to be administered by a class of experts and planners, entrusted with running centrally organized social and political institutions. Although members may be persuaded to add their considerable voices to certain transnational political and economic policies, they may bot be as supportive (or even aware) of the long-range ambitions of the inner circle. While these groups quite often hold their meetings in secret, their membership lists are a matter of public record. It is the central agenda that is disguised. [21. Wasserman, op. cit.]

The main elite groups and councils are: the International Crisis Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum, the Brookings Institution, Chatham House, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group. The Bohemian Club is known to hold informal gatherings of the world elite punctuated with strange ceremonies and rituals. The Clubs insignia is an Owl similar to the one found on the Bavarian Illuminatis Minerval seal.

Insignia of the Bohemian Club

If one would carefully study the members and attendees of these exclusive clubs, one would notice that they combine the most powerful politicians, CEOs and intellectuals of the time with lesser known individuals with famous names. They are descendants of powerful dynasties that rose to power by taking over vital aspects of modern economies, such as the banking system, the oil industry or mass media. They have been associated with game changing events, such as the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. This act completely modified the banking system of the United States, placing it in the hands of a few elite corporations. A proof of this is the court decision of 1982 stating that The Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the FTCA [the Federal Tort Claims Act], but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations.

In his book Bloodlines of the Illuminati, controversial author Fritz Springmeier claims that todays Illuminati is formed from the descendants of thirteen powerful families whose ancestors had close or distant ties to the original Bavarian Illuminati. According to Springmeier, the 13 bloodlines are: the Astors, the Bundys, the Collins, the DuPonts, the Freemans, the Kennedys, the Li, the Onassis, the Reynolds, the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Russells and the Van Duyns. [22. Fritz Springmeier, The Bloodlines of the Illuminati]

There is no doubt that by virtue of the material and political resources they own, some of these families have a great deal of power in todays world. They appear to form the core of what we call today the Illuminati. However, are they conspiring to create a New World Order? Heres a quote from David Rockefellers memoirs that might answer some questions:

For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it. [23. David Rockefeller, Memoirs]

The story of the Illuminati has been repressed or revealed, debunked or exposed, ridiculed or exaggerated countless times all depending on the point of the authors and whether they are apologists or critics. To obtain the absolute truth about a group that was always meant to be secret is quite a challenge and one must use a great deal of judgment and discernment to differentiate the facts from the fabrications. As it is not possible to answer all of the questions relating to the Illuminati, this article simply attempted to draw a more precise picture of the Order and to present important facts relating to it.

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The Order of the Illuminati: Its Origins, Its Methods and Its …

Fifth Amendment – Kids |

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Aug 082015

A Guide to the Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment, or Amendment V of the United States Constitution is the section of the Bill of Rights that protects you from being held for committing a crime unless you have been indicted correctly by the police. The Fifth Amendment is also where the guarantee of due process comes from, meaning that the state and the country have to respect your legal rights. The Fifth Amendment was introduced as a part of the Bill of Rights into the United States Constitution on September 5, 1789 and was voted for by of the states on December 15, 1791.

History of the Fifth Amendment

Once the United States won their independence from the British Parliament and monarchy that had acted like tyrants, the Framers of the United States Constitution did not trust large, centralized governments. Because of this, the Framers wrote the Bill of Rights, which were the first 10 amendments, to help protect individual freedoms from being hurt by the governmental. They included the Fifth Amendment, which gave five specific freedoms to American citizens.

Understanding the Fifth Amendment Line by Line

If you are confused by what each line means, here are some explanations to make the Fifth Amendment easier to understand:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury: No one can be put on trial for a serious crime, unless a grand jury decide first that there is enough proof or evidence so that the trial is needed. If there is enough evidence, an indictment is then issued, which means that the person who is charged with the crime will can put on trial for the crime.

Except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger: People in the military can go to trial without a grand jury first deciding that it is necessary. This is the case if the military person commits a crime during a national emergency or a war.

Nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb: If someone is put on trial for a certain crime and the trial ends, the person cannot be tried once more for the same crime. If a person is convicted of a crime and then serves his or her time in jail, or if the person is acquitted, he or she cannot be put on trial a second time.

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Offshore Companies – Sovereign Man

 Offshore Companies  Comments Off on Offshore Companies – Sovereign Man
Aug 082015

To set up an offshore company or relocate your existing business overseas is a crucial step toward internationalizing yourself and your assets. Search for offshore company and youll find thousands of websites promising a quick company formation in Panama or the British Virgin Islands, with a range of other benefits for the jurisdiction in question.

There is a current misconception that offshore business is about evading taxes and hiding money from the government, which is certainly not the case.

There are 100% legitimate ways to structure your business interests overseas and realize significant benefits from an asset protection standpoint as well as tax-standpoint.

Want an example? In the last few years companies such as Google, Apple and a multitude of other companies have cut theirtaxes by billions of dollars in completelylegitimate ways.

You too can do this.

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First of all, you dont have to start a company offshore to save on taxes. If youre an American, just moving out of the US is a terrific first step. As a US expat, about $100,000 in overseas income is tax exempt, meaning that if you live outside the US you dont have to pay any taxes at all on the first $100,000 or soof foreign sourced income (you still have to file your tax report though). However, the real tax advantage from running an offshore company as a US citizen doesnt come from direct tax savings. It comes from tax deferment, meaning you postpone the payment of taxes into the future. If you run a business overseas and reinvest profits within the company you can defer taxes indefinitely. Lets say you have a profitable company overseas. Now imagine that instead of paying taxes on your profits every year you can reinvest that capital in your offshore company every year for 30 years, and only pay taxes if you decide to sell the company after 30 years. Being able to reinvest your capital tax-free combined with the power of compound interest makes this a truly exceptional opportunity.

Its a great idea to structure your business overseas, especially one thats online-based. If you incorporate your foreign business properly, it provides a legal way to defer tax payments (similarly to an IRA), as well as enabling much reduced liability. An online business has no limits as to how and where it can do business, so why should you let your business be limited by a jurisdiction that is based on the old, geographically limited model? Starting an offshore online business is a great way to build streams of income outside of your home country. Why would you want to have income streams outside of your country? Well, when inflation runs rampant in a country, having an income stream overseas in a stronger currency can potentially be a lifesaver. If hyperinflation would find its way to your country, which is a real risk with central banks all around the world printing new money 24/7, earning only a small part of your income in a different country is invaluable. An internet business based overseas, coupled with an offshore bank account, is the perfect medium through which you can do this.

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Offshore Companies – Sovereign Man | No. 1 Bitcoin Resource for News and …

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on | No. 1 Bitcoin Resource for News and …
Aug 062015

With the problems and corruption in Pakistan going uncontrolled. The govt is trying to tax each and every banktransaction.There are alot of problems with current tax laws in Pakistan of which I am not going to get into much details. But bear in mind that each and every Pakistaniis taxed through Cellphone home phones, electric bills, tv bills, gas bills etc. Most of this sector which is below the poverty line doesnt even know that they are the ones that are suppose to receive a refunds. This in return causes the richer to get richer and divert taxes while the poor get poorer. With recommendations of the new tax law if implemented every banking transaction in Pakistan will be taxed hence causing more burden to existing taxpayers and causing double taxation. While this could be avoided if our systems worked properly then this wouldnt be a problem but the returns are hardly paid and have to go through alot of problems before you actually receive the payments. This may even propel the use of Bitcoin In Pakistan.

As mentioned before btc or bitcoinis a peer to peer system that works like utorrent and hence is equivalent to digital cash. While the leading world countries are now starting to accept this crypto currency and realize its existence (now evident by the acceptance of big players such as Paypal, Microsoft, Expedia, Namescheap, Goldman Sachs and entities such as NYSE) Pakistanstill remains far behind. But with the law as proposed by Mr Isaq Daar it may cause people to look for alternate ways to transact with one another in order to avoid this hefty tax. Bitcoin/btc/xbt maybe the answer here and propel people to actually start storing money in bitcoin. It is now clear that Pakistan is a growing economy in the bitcoin era as Urdubit trade volumes have reached 3 btc avg daily. Paybillwhich is still very new and still building has seen an increase in mobile topups. Paybill has been designed for payment of bills in Pakistan.

I do hope that this tax is not implemented, but at the same time this does show us how important a true p2p currency is. The fact that all the funds of any person in any country can be blocked or controlled by any sort of external force at will can just call shivers. I leave the readers of this blog to comment and share your thoughts on this.


I figured it was time to update and give some information on what excatly is bitcoin and blockchain to my fellow country men. This is my view of what it is and why it is. Please realize that bitcoin in my opinon was created to make money truly yours. Currently all financial systems work through centralized banking, anyone living in Pakistan already know the problem with the control the banks have right now on our accounts. The idea is what I believe was in the head of satoshi that led to the creation of the first true peer to peer (similary to torrent) type currency known as btc or bitcoin. He laid the foundationg of an opensource ledger(database) for the general public where every entry was single entry and could not be removed. But all the ledger was synced with the other users running the software on the network. This software was known as a wallet which can be considered like a bank account of sort for the comman man. While you can have many wallat addresses in a single wallet it resides in public ledger. This is also why it is important to backup the wallet.dat file of your wallet if you have the full software running. There are now online wallets and paper wallets you can also store your bitcoins on online exchanges or bitcoin trading platforms. Do remember if you lose your wallet on your pc or paper wallet for any reason its gone forever. I believe that bitcoin is still in its infancey and has a long way to go, think about how internet came about: There was Fax> Bullitin Board Service or BBS> email >internet It took it a long time, it wasent an overnight revolution. Similarly bitcoin is very new. While it has captured a huge market it still has a long way to go. There are benifits of the blockchain and bitcoin as both are being innovated upon. Some companies are working on blockchain(ledger, or database) such as voip (p2p) coins such as korecoin and viorcoin then there rare coins such as bay, blk etc that support smart contrants and p2p markets. Then there is the ripple gateway that is trying to replace the current swift system.

Then there are services that belive in bitcoin itself and are using its financial power to change the way we bank or use money today. Think about the fact that you own one currency that works throughout the world you dont have to worry about Pakistani ruppee price fluctuating aganist the USD (this is an example) as PKR is not accepted everywhere in the world. It is a true boarderless curreny that I believe is brining people closer together. The launch of is one such gateway which lets companies pay their developers anywhere in the world. Its a singaporian startup that is doing alot of work in this feild. They take the bitcoin out of picture but use bitcoin in the backend. Then there are exchanges and atms and user acceptance poping up everywhere around the world, such as microsoft, dell, paypal, namescheap, overstock etc. There are physicall vendors in Pakistan too. There is a shop in Gunjarawallla, a petrol pump/ gas station in Karachi, then where you can pay your bills for Malaysia and Pakistan and also do mobile topups, or easy loads that are accepting bitcoins for payment, you can also check for a few other locations that accept bitcoins.

I have also witnessed the power of bitcoin recently and how user to user interaction increases adoption. I was contacted by a person who wanted to buy stuff from a vendor in another country wanted to learn about bitcoin and how it could benifit him. After consultations with us he wanted to give it a go. But his vendor was also fearfull of the price fluctions and how bitcoin could be risky as he believed it cant be real. The user here after consultation convinced his vendor that he would be taking this risk so there was no worries at his end. The first transation they did took all in all 15 mins and the cash was transfered in the vendors bank account while saving the payee money as compared to if he had used a credit card or wiretransfer. When the vendor saw this his response was: This is really very easy, will you make more payments like this? This is what I believe money should be, a truely boarderless medium with worldwide acceptance. The bad policies of some countries have left them in poverty, this doesnt mean that that the citizen of that country should not even have control over their funds/money and acceptablity etc. If the currency is truely boaderless he doesnt have to worry about local exchangers even.

I do believe this is only the begining of the future what the future holds, can only be witnessed in time. I do believe there is a need for one global international currency even the world powers such as china, russia and UN want this. There is an interesting article that was put out back in 2009 and I think bitcoin is the answer for that.


Its been a great week with urdubit picking up trade volume. And now a new website a2zlawn opening its door to welcome bitcoin acceptance in Pakistan for designer and Replica stores. While the awareness about bitcoin is not up to par in Pakistan, we are seeing new users come onboard.

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So You Think You Know the Second Amendment? – The New Yorker

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Jul 222015

Does the Second Amendment prevent Congress from passing gun-control laws? The question, which is suddenly pressing, in light of the reaction to the school massacre in Newtown, is rooted in politics as much as law.

For more than a hundred years, the answer was clear, even if the words of the amendment itself were not. The text of the amendment is divided into two clauses and is, as a whole, ungrammatical: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The courts had found that the first part, the militia clause, trumped the second part, the bear arms clause. In other words, according to the Supreme Court, and the lower courts as well, the amendment conferred on state militias a right to bear armsbut did not give individuals a right to own or carry a weapon.

Enter the modern National Rifle Association. Before the nineteen-seventies, the N.R.A. had been devoted mostly to non-political issues, like gun safety. But a coup dtat at the groups annual convention in 1977 brought a group of committed political conservatives to poweras part of the leading edge of the new, more rightward-leaning Republican Party. (Jill Lepore recounted this history in a recent piece for The New Yorker.) The new group pushed for a novel interpretation of the Second Amendment, one that gave individuals, not just militias, the right to bear arms. It was an uphill struggle. At first, their views were widely scorned. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, who was no liberal, mocked the individual-rights theory of the amendment as a fraud.

But the N.R.A. kept pushingand theres a lesson here. Conservatives often embrace originalism, the idea that the meaning of the Constitution was fixed when it was ratified, in 1787. They mock the so-called liberal idea of a living constitution, whose meaning changes with the values of the country at large. But there is no better example of the living Constitution than the conservative re-casting of the Second Amendment in the last few decades of the twentieth century. (Reva Siegel, of Yale Law School, elaborates on this point in a brilliant article.)

The re-interpretation of the Second Amendment was an elaborate and brilliantly executed political operation, inside and outside of government. Ronald Reagans election in 1980 brought a gun-rights enthusiast to the White House. At the same time, Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, became chairman of an important subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he commissioned a report that claimed to find clearand long lostproof that the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms. The N.R.A. began commissioning academic studies aimed at proving the same conclusion. An outr constitutional theory, rejected even by the establishment of the Republican Party, evolved, through brute political force, into the conservative conventional wisdom.

And so, eventually, this theory became the law of the land. In District of Columbia v. Heller, decided in 2008, the Supreme Court embraced the individual-rights view of the Second Amendment. It was a triumph above all for Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of the opinion, but it required him to craft a thoroughly political compromise. In the eighteenth century, militias were proto-military operations, and their members had to obtain the best military hardware of the day. But Scalia could not create, in the twenty-first century, an individual right to contemporary military weaponslike tanks and Stinger missiles. In light of this, Scalia conjured a rule that said D.C. could not ban handguns because handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.

So the government cannot ban handguns, but it can ban other weaponslike, say, an assault rifleor so it appears. The full meaning of the courts Heller opinion is still up for grabs. But it is clear that the scope of the Second Amendment will be determined as much by politics as by the law. The courts will respond to public pressureas they did by moving to the right on gun control in the last thirty years. And if legislators, responding to their constituents, sense a mandate for new restrictions on guns, the courts will find a way to uphold them. The battle over gun control is not just one of individual votes in Congress, but of a continuing clash of ideas, backed by political power. In other words, the law of the Second Amendment is not settled; no law, not even the Constitution, ever is.

Photograph by Mario Tama/Getty.

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So You Think You Know the Second Amendment? – The New Yorker

Digital Dodge: Some Greeks Using Bitcoin to Evade Currency …

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Jul 032015

There is at least one legal way to get your euros out of Greece these days, to guard against the prospect that they might be devalued into drachmas: convert them into bitcoin.

Although absolute figures are hard to come by, Greek interest has surged in the online “cryptocurrency”, which is out of the reach of monetary authorities and can be transferred at the touch of a smartphone screen.

New customers depositing at least 50 euros with BTCGreece, the only Greece-based bitcoin exchange, open only to Greeks, rose by 400 percent between May and June, according to its founder Thanos Marinos, who put the number at “a few thousand.” The average deposit quadrupled to around 700 euros.

Using bitcoin could allow Greeks to do one of the things that capital controls were put in place this week to prevent: transfer money out of their bank accounts and, if they wish, out of the country.

“When people are trying to move money out of the country and the state is stopping that from taking place, bitcoin is the only way to move any value,” said Adam Vaziri, a board member of the UK Digital Currency Association. “There aren’t any other options unless you buy diamonds, and that’s very difficult to move.”

But Marinos said the bitcoin buyers’ main aim was to shield their money against the prospect that Greece might leave the euro zone and convert all the deposits in Greek banks into a greatly devalued national currency. If voters reject the demands of international creditors in a referendum on Sunday, this becomes much more likely.

“A lot of people are keeping all the bitcoins they buy on our platform, until they understand what to do with them,” Marinos said. “In their eyes, now they have bitcoins, they’re safe.”

That said, the value of a bitcoin, a web-based digital currency invented six years ago that floats freely and is not backed by a government or central bank, has been highly volatile.

It peaked at over $1,200 in late 2013 before crashing almost 70 percent in less than a month after a hacking attack on the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox in early 2014.

This week, as Greece defaulted on a debt to the IMF, the price jumped to a 3-1/2-month high of $268 BTC=BTSP on the Bitstamp exchange — up more than 20 percent since the start of June — while the number of daily transactions reached a record 150,917.

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Digital Dodge: Some Greeks Using Bitcoin to Evade Currency …

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism